Blasting is beginning today in a project to improve safety along U.S. Highway 26 over Mount Hood, a process that will at times delay traffic for travelers headed in both directions across the pass.

The Oregon Department of Transportation project will use explosives to remove a section of a rock face east of Government Camp to create a safe space for falling rock to land and will install a barrier between the eastbound and westbound travel lanes.

Crews will be limiting their blasting to between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on select Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays through October, and again on the same schedule between April and October 2015.

Three more blasting dates are scheduled in the near future, on Tuesday and on Sept.11 and Sept. 16.

During blasting operations, parking will be restricted in the Mirror Lake Parking lot, while motorists on the highway and hikers on nearby trail may be prevented from passing though the area for up to an hour.