Westbound I-84 Between HR And CL Reopens, But It Will Be Slow
The Oregon Department of Transportation announced this evening that westbound Interstate 84 between Hood River and Cascade Locks has reopened, but westbound traffic will move slowly for several hours as trucks that have been holding make their way. ODOT suggests avoiding driving in the Gorge if at all possible. Extreme caution is advised tonight and into the morning, as freezing rain may cause icy conditions. You are required to carry chains and know how to use them. Visit www.TripCheck.com or call 5-1-1 for the latest.
The freeway was closed early Wednesday morning, with numerous vehicles stranded for hours behind several wrecks, many involving semi-trucks. ODOT officials indicated at 1;30 p.m. that vehicles that had been stranded had been cleared, but crews plowed, sanded, and salted the roadway to break up and remove the snow and ice before reopening the road But one of the issues ODOT faces is when the Gorge experiences snow, freezing rain, ice, and quickly falling and rising temperatures it can wash away salt and deicer faster than they can lay it down. Coupled with vehicles traveling without traction devices crashing and blocking all lanes of traffic, it becomes difficult to keep the freeway open. ODOT officials advise people who travel during the winter to carry blankets or some kind of warming device, food, and something to keep kids occupied, and to make sure to have a full tank of gas before heading out. They also say the Oregon State Police will be stepping up tire chain enforcement. Motorists are also urged to use tripcheck.com to get the latest on road conditions in Oregon.