Drivers who travel between Ashland and Medford will experience a moving work zone and some short delays this summer as nighttime paving returns to Interstate 5.
The construction project will stretch along an eight-mile section (MP 19 to MP 27) between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. to avoid the higher traffic volumes experienced during summer days.
“I-5 has a lot of traffic, no matter what season you choose, so construction work that closes or slows down traffic is only allowed at night,” said ODOT Project Manager Tim Fletcher. “Commuters who travel between Ashland and Medford will welcome the smoother ride.”
The asphalt has gradually become rough and rutted as it reaches the end of its design life.
According to Fletcher, ODOT directed a rehabilitation project several years ago as part of the agency’s preventative maintenance program to maximize the service life of the highway.
Grind/inlay, also known as mill/inlay, involves grinding into the upper layer of the existing asphalt to remove any cracks, ruts and imperfections. A layer of inlay paving is placed atop the milled surface to fill holes and level it off. The last step is an asphalt overlay that finishes the process.
“This grind inlay project will replace the existing open-graded asphalt mix with a denser mix, which is designed to wear better and give a better ride,” said Fletcher.
Drivers will encounter intermittent ramp closures during the nighttime paving, however the project specifications will only allow one night of closure per ramp.
In addition to eight miles of paving work, the project will add safety cable barrier between northbound and southbound I-5.
“My advice this summer is to leave a little extra time, perhaps take an alternate route,” said Fletcher. “We’ll work with the contractor to keep the work zone safe, yet minimize traffic delays.”
Work Zone Safety
• Slow down. Traffic fines double in work zones.
• Reduce distractions and pay attention to your driving.
• Double your following distance.
• Get in the correct lane well in advance.
• Remember, work zone traffic lanes often are narrow, without shoulders or emergency lanes.
• Be aware of temporary accesses to the roadway from the median.
• Uneven or sloped road surfaces can affect how your car handles.
• Report missing or poor signs.