August 31, 2020
Southern Oregon travelers need to pack their patience and allow extra driving time this Labor Day weekend.
With an overwhelming number of travelers using their car and staying close to home because of COVID-19, many people will again be on the highways for this last unofficial summer weekend. The Oregon Coast has been a favorite destination this summer, causing periods of significant congestion on U.S. 101 and on the highways connecting the coast.
Nearly all work zones will be cleared for the holiday weekend, with the exception of single-lane traffic on Interstate 5, south of Ashland near Siskiyou Summit. Travelers should expect heavy and slow traffic, especially at the beginning and end of the weekend as people travel between the coast and Rogue and Umpqua Valleys. Also, travelers should be prepared for slow traffic in small towns and cities on the coast.
Some tips to consider before and during your trip:
- Plan your travel route ahead at Tripcheck.com and stay socially-distant whenever possible to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Make sure that you and your passengers have several face coverings; all coastal businesses are requiring masks for entry because of the spread of COVID-19.
- Carry water and snacks, and try to keep your fuel tank above half-full.
- Carry plenty of hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other personal items for sanitation.
- Don’t use shortcuts on backroads or logging roads to get around traffic congestion; they’re typically unimproved and present a number of potential hazards.
- Watch for parking/illegal camping restrictions on beach highways and county roads; please obey the signs that are there for your safety; in addition, law enforcement can cite you for parking illegally.
- Protect our health and the environment by disposing of your garbage appropriately.
- Obey the speed limit; we’re seeing a lot of excessive speeds and high speed crashes.
Drive sober and don’t drive distracted; drivers should leave the cell phone to someone else.
For More Information:
Gary Leaming, ODOT PIO/Medford – 541-621-3074
Dan Latham, ODOT PIO/Roseburg – 541-817-5200