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ODOT Discouraging Travel Outside SW Oregon Due to Dangerous Roads in Much of State

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Traveling outside the Rogue Valley is strongly discouraged due to challenging road conditions around other parts of the state.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reported this morning that sub-freezing temperatures still cover much of the Willamette Valley, making road conditions challenging for at least the next couple of days. Freezing rain is expected Tuesday.

Northbound Interstate 5 south of Eugene remains slow and congested due to overnight crashes. Last night, vehicles spinning out, crashing or losing traction in southern Lane County blocked the freeway for hours, causing a traffic backup. ODOT crews and the Oregon State Police needed to awaken drivers sleeping in their cars early today, and there were off-ramp backups of vehicles headed for fuel stations.

Crews are plowing 24/7 and using de-icer by the hundreds of thousands of pounds as well as sanding packed ice and snow on the roads. However, the amount of ice and extremely low temperatures limit the effectiveness of these tools -- especially for vehicles without chains.

Meanwhile, warming temperatures in southwest Oregon could lead to flooding especially in Coos County. Watch for high water and debris on roadways on valley and coastal routes.

ODOT officials said consider delaying your travel until later this week, if possible. If you must travel, be prepared for difficult driving conditions. Carry chains, plenty of fuel, snacks and blankets in case of delays. For the latest state highway information and to see current closures, visit "tripcheck.com."
Posted on 1/15/24 6:02AM by Sam Marsh