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Old Siskiyou Highway slated for closure during I-5 bridge work

Work on the Interstate 5 bridge at exit 6 — the Mount Ashland exit — will cause a weeklong closure on the Old Siskiyou Highway and result in a 2-mile stretch of single-lane I-5 traffic during the summer months, Oregon Department of Transportation officials said.

The work, which begins Monday, April 27, starts with the removal of the bridge’s concrete deck. The closure is expected to last through Sunday, May 3.

After May 3, flag crews will direct traffic on Old Siskiyou Highway while the bridge deck is rebuilt. Northbound and southbound I-5 traffic, meanwhile, will be down to a single lane starting at milepost 4.5 near the Siskiyou Summit, ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming said.

“That gives the contractor not only room to work, it allows traffic to get over into its temporary configuration early enough,” Leaming said, noting the steep grade of the freeway. “We don’t want traffic trying to make a merge movement when there’s a steep incline.”

The speed limit will be 40 mph in that section, though southbound drivers should be prepared for significantly slower speeds due to the incline. Additional road work in the area will include guard rail repairs, foundation work and ramp paving. The freeway off-ramp at exit 6 will be closed during the project, with intermittent closures at the northbound on-ramp.

Residents who live on Mt. Ashland Ski Road, Colestin Road and Old Siskiyou Highway should budget extra time because of the work, Leaming said. Depending on the closure, that might include driving south to Hilt, California, to get onto the freeway or using the Old Siskiyou Highway to drive into Ashland.

The work is slated to be finished in August. Road crews will then switch to repairs in the southbound travel lanes from milepost 6.5 to milepost 9. That work had been scheduled for spring, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will temporarily shut down Oct. 15 through the winter.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.

A map from the Oregon Department of Transportation shows the closure area for upcoming Interstate 5 bridge work near exit 6. ODOT graphic