I-5 re-opens after snow forced closure; expect delays

I-5 re-opens after snow forced closure; expect delays
Interstate 5 at Sexton Summit was empty midday Thursday.

CANYONVILLE, Ore. - Severe winter weather closed more than 20 miles of Interstate 5 on Thursday in southern Oregon.

I-5 was closed much of the day from Canyonville south towards Grants Pass, a 23-mile stretch of the West Coast freeway.

State officials responded to areas of heavy snow and disabled vehicles on the roadway.

Even after the road re-opened early evening, ODOT officials said drivers should expect delays.

>> Latest Update: ODOT: SW Oregon: All lanes of Interstate 5 (Pacific Highway) are open, with chain requirements, between Canyonville (exit 99) and Hugo (exit 66) after a near seven hour closure due to severe weather conditions.
The chain requirement through the corridor includes full chain restriction for all vehicles except 4x4s, unless towing.
Even with the reopening, travelers should expect delays and congestion as the back up will take some time to clear.
Motorists, and those on the road for the holidays, should plan ahead, carry an emergency kit, and leave plenty of time for winter travel, including carrying chains and knowing how to install them.  

Several crews with graders and plows were brought in from surrounding towns to help clear the road, officials said.

Severe weather also forced Oregon and California transportation officials to require chains on Siskiyou Summit near the border. Chains may also be required along other stretches of I-5.

Officials recommend all drivers be prepared for delays and carry and emergency kit.

On Thursday morning, Highway 6 over the Coast Range was closed near the summit in Tillamook County after several vehicles got stuck in the snow along the road.

Two commercial trucks got stuck and had to be towed out, according to an Oregon State Police official. Earlier in the morning, a tanker truck also crashed in the snow and spilled about 100 gallons of diesel.

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