Oregon DOT: I-5 Drivers Should Prepare for Another Round of Ice

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I-5 Oregon Winter Driving | I-5 Exit Guide

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that another round of freezing rain is forecast for Tuesday night through Wednesday morning across northwest Oregon.

If you must travel Tuesday night or Wednesday, carry tire chains, fuel, water and other supplies for a longer trip than usual – as well as possible closure of roads if conditions become unsafe. ODOT crews are still working to reopen highways impacted by ice and downed trees, as well as preparing for the next round of this storm.

Portland and the Columbia River Gorge could get up to half an inch of ice Tuesday. ODOT is preparing to close Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge before conditions become unsafe, before motorists become stranded by ice. Crews are watching conditions carefully and will close the highway between Troutdale and Hood River if needed.

Although the backup on the northbound side of I-5 south of Eugene has been clearing, the accumulated ice is continuing to make that 15-20-mile stretch very slow. Crews are again sanding that stretch of I-5 as well as other highways, but they are also seeing vehicles traveling too fast for conditions when traffic is light. Oregon State Police are increasing patrols south of Eugene to enforce speed and chain laws.

Again, ODOT is asking that you to consider delaying your travel until later this week if possible. If you must travel, be prepared for conditions as difficult as the weekend.

If you must travel Tuesday night or Wednesday, be prepared

If you must travel, carry chains – even if you have traction tires or four-wheel-drive – plenty of fuel, snacks and blankets in case of delays. Some highways have reached the point where chains are required regardless of whether you have four-wheel-drive.

Safety is a priority – for travelers and our road crews. If you decide to travel, plan extra time for your journey and carry emergency supplies. Delays and closures are happening statewide.

Give snowplows and emergency crews extra space to do their work, and never pass a snowplow on the right. Our crews are working hard to clear roads, but their job becomes more difficult when disabled cars and trucks block traffic.

With power lines down, traffic signals may be off-line. Treat traffic signals that aren’t working like a four-way stop. Never drive over downed power lines.


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