Oregon Department of Transportation officials expect to have all lanes of Interstate 5 reopened in time for the evening commute.
4:45 p.m. updateAll southbound lanes of Interstate 5 have reopened, Oregon Department of Transportation reports. However, congestion in the area will take some time to clear and caution is advised.
3:50 p.m. Oregon Department of Transportation officials expect to have all lanes of Interstate 5 reopened in time for the evening commute.
A fiery crash at the south Medford interchange construction project this morning closed one southbound lane for much of the day.
The freeway was closed entirely for about four hours this morning after a freight truck, carrying two empty trailers from Portland to Sacramento, failed to negotiate a lane shift around the construction site and slammed into a concrete barrier. The crash ripped open the truck's fuel tank and started a fire that destroyed the semi-tractor and deeply damaged the asphalt.
The left southbound lane reopened just before 10 a.m., but traffic moved slowly through the area. ODOT officials reported that the southbound backup extended more than three miles at times.
ODOT crews removed a stretch of damaged asphalt about 40 feet long and 8 inches deep, then replaced it. The repaving should be done by 4:30 p.m., the department reported.
Officials ask drivers to use caution on the highways.