Rider Alert: Summer Construction Season in Eastern Oregon

  • Author:
    Ride Oregon Staff
  • Posted in:
    Bike-Related

This summer there will be multiple road-construction projects and other changes that potentially affect cyclists out on Oregon’s roads. ODOT’s statewide 2016 Summer Road Projects construction map will be available later this month through ODOT’s website homepage, but right now we have information on several projects in Eastern Oregon that will involve delays, detours, higher speed limits and chip-sealing.

You can find broad information with ODOT’s Region 5 Summer Construction Report, the Region 5 Summer Construction Map and the Statewide Speed Limit Increase Map.

Before heading out the door always visit www.TripCheck.com for current travel impacts and information. Motorists and bicycle riders are reminded to share the road, obey all construction zone directions (signs and flaggers), and to watch out for each other, especially in work zones where travel lanes may be restricted.

Bicycle-Related Project Highlights

Chip seals: Eight highway segments in eastern Oregon will receive chip-seal pavement treatments along U.S. 26, U.S. 395, OR 206, OR 244, OR 74 and OR 78. Although chip-seal is not the favorite road treatment for bicycle riders, its application is necessary to help protect and extend the life of existing highway surfaces.

Rumble strips: Numerous highway sections are receiving center line and/or fog line rumble strips to help prevent run-off-the-road crashes. In the case of fog-line rumble strips near the shoulder areas, they will only be added when the shoulder width is four feet or greater. Rumble strips are proven to save lives, especially on Oregon’s remote, rural highways.

I-84 detour south of Baker City: A highway resurfacing project on Interstate 84 about 20 miles south of Baker City includes a short detour for bicycle riders. Between Durkee and Nelson Point, bike riders will be directed to detour along old U.S. 30 between Exit 327 and Exit 330. U.S. 30 parallels the freeway in this area, so the detour adds minimal extra time or mileage. The detour for bikes is necessary due to condensed freeway traffic that is narrowed to one lane for each direction through the work zone.

New higher speed limits: Over a dozen highway segments, including I-84 between The Dalles and the Idaho border, saw speed limits increase this spring. Oregon’s HB 3402 and HB 4047 allows travelers to legally drive higher speeds along segments of I-84, I-82, U.S. 20, U.S. 26, U.S. 95, U.S. 97, U.S. 197, U.S. 395, OR 31, OR 78 and OR 205. Speed limits for interstate segments, as well as U.S. 95, increased to 70 mph for passenger vehicles and 65 mph for trucks. On other affected highways the speed limit increased to 65 mph for passenger vehicles and 60 mph for trucks. The specific highway segments and their related travel speeds are identified on this map. Check it out, along with other related information on the Speed Limit Increase website.

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