March 31, 2016 10:50 a.m.
Northbound motorists on Interstate Five should expect 20-minute delays on Thursday night between 5:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. north of Rice Hill.
Dan Latham of the Oregon Department of Transportation says ODOT will use several rolling slowdowns as workers move concrete barriers and prepare to move northbound traffic into a crossover configuration. The rolling slow-downs will start about two miles south of Rice Hill and continue for close to fifteen miles. Latham says that southbound traffic will not be affected.
When the slowdowns are completed at around midnight, three northbound I-5 ramps will be closed for about six weeks. That includes the on and off ramp at Elk Creek and Cox Road and the off ramp at Salt Springs Road. Dan Latham advises motorists to use alternate routes during the ramp closures.
Freeway traffic is limited to a single lane in each direction through the work zone until the middle of May. The speed limit in that area has been reduced to 55 miles per hour. Dan Latham says that motorists should drive with caution and watch for potholes.
The southbound on-ramp at the Drain/Oregon 38 Junction will be closed until this fall. A two mile detour is in place. Oregon 38 motorists are encouraged to take I-5 north to the Curtain interchange and then turn around.
During the next two weeks, motorists should expect frequent 20 minute delays due to rolling slowdowns and work zone congestion.
Dan Latham suggests several options for motorists planning to drive through the work zone:
*Always assume there will be a delay and give yourself extra travel time to reach your destination.
*Consider alternate routes and carry a State of Oregon road map in your vehicle.
*Watch for construction signs and roadside electric message boards.
*Visit www.tripcheck.com to check road conditions and traffic cameras before you travel.
*Use a smartphone app to see if traffic is backed up.