ODOT warns again of freeway apocalypse
The Oregon Department of Transportation is trying humor — and free tunes — to warn Portland-area motorists again about the serious traffic problems epxected to be caused by three freeway projects this summer, beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday, July 8, when the southbound ramp from I-5 to I-84 will be shut down for two weeks.
That afternoon, ODOT announced it has prepared a Spotify playlist to help ease the pain of being stuck in traffic. Congestion-related tunes Gridlock Groves tunes include Road to Nowhere by the Talking Heads, It's too Late by Carole King, The Longest Time by Billy Joel, and Running on Empty by Jackson Bown.
You must have a Spotify account to access the playlist at tinyurl.com/ycsvkq6o.
On a more serious note, ODOT predicted the following effects from the closures last week:
• Rush-hour(s) like congestion or worse, from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays.
• Commutes that last at least a couple of hours.
• Backups to the Interstate Bridge on I-5, Troutdale on I-84 and the Glenn Jackson Bridge and Sunnyside on Interstate 205. Interstate 405 will also experience congestion.
• Congestion on local roads as travelers divert off the interstate or use other on-ramps to I-84 eastbound.
• TriMet buses in north, northeast and southeast Portland may experience delays as traffic diverts to city streets.
• Up-to three hour long drive times on I-84 westbound between Interstate 205 and I-5 when the westbound ramps to I-5 are closed.
ODOT advises motorists to plan ahead and prepare for delays by:
• Taking MAX Light Rail. Trains run in a dedicated trackway and bypass the congestion. TriMet has a number of free Park & Rides. Plan your trip at trimet.org.
Bike or walk to your destination.
• Checking with your employer to see if you can adjust your work schedule, telework or work from an alternate location.
• Exploring other parts of Portland and Oregon. If you have vacation planned or availability to take vacation, avoid the area so you can enjoy your time exploring the beauty of Oregon.
To read a previous Portland Tribune story on the closures, go to tinyurl.com/yawfydzq.