November 26, 2013 For more information: Lou Torres, 503-986-2880
11-320-R2 email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gregg Hastings, OSP, 503-731-3020
I-5 motorists should be prepared for
Midnight Madness traffic congestion
Thanksgiving shopping and Civil War to slow I-5 traffic this week
WOODBURN – Oregon State Police (OSP), Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), Woodburn Police Department (WPD) and Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) urge Thursday night travelers who may use Interstate 5 between Portland and Salem to plan ahead because of anticipated heavy traffic congestion associated with shoppers arriving for the annual Woodburn Premium Outlet Stores (formerly Company Stores) 24-hour "Moonlight Madness" sale. Also, with the Civil War scheduled Friday at 4 p.m. in Eugene, there will be added congestion on I-5 that day.
Each year, traffic typically backs up for several miles in both directions Thanksgiving night on I-5 near Exit 271 as travelers and shoppers converge in the Woodburn area. OSP troopers, working with Woodburn police and ODOT, concentrate patrol, enforcement and traffic assistance efforts on a four mile stretch near the interchange.
According to OSP, numerous citations were issued to motorists last year during a six-hour period for violations including illegal stopping / standing (cutting into the stopped lane of traffic) on the highway, failure to obey traffic control device, and other traffic-related violations.
ODOT also wants to assure visitors/shoppers that all lanes and ramps will be open for a six week period starting Wednesday, November 27. A contractor working for ODOT is currently in the first year of a three-year project to rebuild the Woodburn interchange and improve connecting roads. While visitors may notice signs of construction activity, they should not encounter any additional delays.
ODOT and OSP highly encourage motorists visiting the Premium Outlet Stores to consider using additional parking and a shuttle service from the newly completed Woodburn Park & Ride/Transit facility located just east of I-5 on OR 214. The Outlet Stores will be offering free shuttle service from the facility to the stores. To get to the transit facility and avoid the heavy congestion at the Woodburn Interchange, motorists should use an alternative route by taking Exit 282A (Canby/Hubbard) and follow directions to OR 99E, turn right on OR 214 and follow directions west through Woodburn to the transit facility. Motorists are also encouraged to consider other alternative routes to avoid the congestion at the Woodburn Interchange by going to http://www.premiumoutlets.com/salespdf/WoodburnParking2013.pdf
Football fans heading down to the Civil War on Friday are reminded to leave early and allow plenty of travel time. Travelers approaching the Woodburn Interchange (Exit 271) should stay in the left lanes to avoid any potential shopping traffic that might be backing up on to the freeway.
OSP, MCSO, WPD and ODOT offer these safety reminders when traveling to or through the Woodburn Premium Outlet Stores area on Thursday and Friday:
* Stay alert and focused while driving at all times.
* If going to the Outlet Stores, approach the Woodburn exit in the far right lane several miles before the exit.
* DO NOT STOP in the center or left lanes to merge into the far right lane of traffic that has already developed to take the freeway exit. Proceed to the next available exit and turn around and proceed to the northbound exit which normally has much less back up.
* Keep a safe following distance at all times.
* Before leaving, plan on using a possible alternative route to travel to or around the Woodburn area.
*On Friday, football fans approaching the Woodburn Interchange (Exit 271) while heading to Eugene for the game should stay in the left lanes.
* Know before you go. Check road and traffic conditions on ODOT's travel site, www.TripCheck.com, or call 5-1-1.
Travelers are asked to report any possible intoxicated or dangerous drivers to OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or 9-1-1.
For the latest information on road conditions, visit www.tripcheck.com