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I-5 drivers should expect delays south of Ashland

I-5 south of Ashland has been reduced to a single lane of travel in each direction because of construction on the Siskiyou Summit. ODOT photo
Interstate being repaired on Siskiyou Summit

Drivers traveling Interstate 5 south of Ashland should expect delays during the Memorial Day holiday weekend due to construction on the Siskiyou Summit.

I-5 traffic has been reduced to a single lane of travel in both directions between Ashland and the California border for the full reconstruction of the southbound slow lane. That work continues into next month, the Oregon Department of Transportation said.

Drivers should give themselves more time and extra following distance for safety, ODOT advised.

All drivers should expect a busy holiday weekend on Oregon roads.

The American Automobile Association predicts 530,000 Oregonians will travel over the extended Memorial Day weekend from Thursday through Monday — an increase from more hesitant pandemic travel patterns seen in 2021.

ODOT offered the following tips for a safe trip on the road:

  • Check your route in advance on tripcheck.com. ODOT has added more cameras showing road conditions, delays, construction and expected travel times. Construction work may pause over the Memorial Day weekend, but you may still see equipment staged at the side of the road until projects resume.
  • Last year in Oregon, cars were the number one cause of summer wildfires. Do your part to prevent them. If you have to pull off the road, stay on hard surfaces and avoid dry grass. Never toss a lit cigarette or any burning materials from your vehicle.
  • Stay current on rules of the road. Oregon’s move over law requires drivers to switch to another lane if an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road with lights flashing. If you can’t change lanes, slow down. ODOT incident responders are on the road to respond to incidents with other first responder partners. Brush up on the rules of the road by checking the 2022-2023 Oregon Driver Manual at www.oregon.gov/odot/forms/dmv/37.pdf.
  • People driving electric cars can look for upgraded charging stations on I-5 and I-84 and U.S. Highway 101. Some of these chargers are part of the West Coast Electric Highway and now have upgraded plug types that can connect to more EV models. Oregon has about 2,100 public EV charging stations and will soon have more along major roads, courtesy of ODOT’s pledge of $100 million for EV charging infrastructure.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before you head out. Check your coolant, hoses and tires. Have emergency supplies in your vehicle. Food, water, extra medications, a first aid kit, a paper road map, phone charger, jumper cables, a safety vest and a flashlight may all come in handy as you travel.