To ensure public safety and prioritize travel for emergency responders, ODOT crews will barricade portions of OR 22 North Santiam Highway and OR 226 Albany-Lyons Highway by 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14.
The barricades will be in place until further notice. OR 22 has been closed, with flaggers and law enforcement screening those requesting entry, since the night of Labor Day. Much of the area is under different levels of evacuation orders while firefighters battle wildfires in the area.
Barricades will be in place at:
- OR 22 and the intersection of OR 226
- OR 22 and Jennie Road
- OR 22 at U.S. 20
- OR 22 at Gates Hill Road
Closures will also be in effect at:
- OR 226 at Mehama Bridge
- OR 226 at W. McCully Mountain Road
With wildfires still burning in much of the state, smoke and fog have greatly reduced visibility. Rain is forecast in the Willamette Valley this week and could make traveling the road even more dangerous. Trees and rocks are unstable or have fallen in the road. Unstable hillsides could bring more debris down or cause landslides.
Firefighters, law enforcement officials, and utility companies need access to the highway and will be allowed past the barricades to help with response and repairs vital to the fire response and to reopening the area.
ODOT continues assessing damage to the highway, but guardrail, pavement and signs have all been damaged. A significant number of hazard trees will need to be assessed and removed before the highway is safe to open to the public.
The best way to stay safe is avoid driving unless absolutely necessary. Remember to check conditions if you must head out. A number of roads remain closed throughout the state. Go to Tripcheck.com or call 5-1-1 for real time road conditions.
If you encounter heavy smoke while driving, remember to slow down, turn on your headlights, use your fog lights if you have them, and give other drivers plenty of space. Remember to never stop in a travel lane and if you must pull over pull off the road as far as possible.