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Summer Work Zones

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By Art Anderson

Rogue Valley Area Manager


A relatively mild Oregon winter brings the added benefit of allowing us to start our construction on schedule, without trying to accommodate a huge backlog of repairs to slides, sinks, and cracks caused by water in all its forms (ice, snow and rain). Whether we are paving, pouring concrete, rebuilding roadbed, striping, applying a chip seal or a crack seal, warm, dry summer weather and transportation projects go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Summer is our busiest season.

More construction work for us means more work zones for you. In fact, traffic volumes increase more than 50 percent on average during the summer and climb even higher along popular tourism routes. Our construction plans take the increased traffic into account. We stop work on our highways during major summer holidays — Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day — to keep traffic flowing and prevent work zone crashes.

Our team works continuously to improve our construction work zones. We separate work from traffic with concrete barriers; we schedule work at night, when traffic volumes are lower; and we provide more training for our construction project staff to manage work zone traffic control.

We’ll continue to work hard to make our work zones understandable and clear as possible but we need your help to maintain safety. Here are eight things you can do to make summer safer for everyone:

  1. Slow down when you see orange signs, barrels and barricades.
  2. Obey posted speed limit signs.
  3. Don’t tailgate.
  4. Increase your following distance.
  5. Merge well in advance.
  6. Turn on your emergency flashers if traffic is slowing or stopping ahead.
  7. Use alternate routes during the peak traffic hours.
  8. Plan ahead. Call 511 or visit


About Art Anderson


As ODOT Area Manager for the Rogue Valley, Art oversees state highway construction projects in Josephine and Jackson counties. He represents ODOT on the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation, the regional advisory group that plays a key role in the development of the agency’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.

« Back to the May 2018 edition