ODOT urges motorists to plan ahead

The Oregon Department of Transportation is urging motorists to plan extra time for trip and be patient when traveling on Portland area freeways this weekend.

Scheduled construction project and large public events are expected to increase travel times - especially if crashes also impact traffic.

"Be patient, plan extra time, drive carefully and please don't crash," says ODOT spokeswoman Kimberly Dinwiddie.

Scheduled work includes the final closure of the upper deck of the Fremont Bridge from 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22. The deck has been closed to previous weekends for repaving.

"This is the final weekend closure, but southbound I-405 traffic will again be detoured to southbound I-5," says Dinwiddle.

The closure will likely affect traffic headed to U.S. Highway 26 for the Oregon International Air Show at the Hillsboro Airport and the Safeway Classic LPGA Tour at the Pumpkin Ridge golf course in North Plains. Both events are expected to significantly increase traffic on the highway. Motorists coming from the north will need to cross the Marquam Bridge and take the I-405 North exit to reach US 26.

Also on Saturday morning, maintenance work will require three lifts of the I-5 Bridge between Oregon and Washington. Each will last approximately 20 minutes. They are expected to last 20 minutes each.

In addition on Saturday, a funeral procession for a 19-year-old sailor killed in Afghanistan is scheduled to go from Forest Grove to Willamette National Cemetery. The procession, with 75 to 100 cars, will travel north from Forest Grove on OR 47 to OR 6, east on U.S. 26 to OR 217 and south to Interstate 5. From there it will travel south to Interstate 205 and north to the cemetery on Southeast Mount Scott Boulevard, north of exit 16. The procession is scheduled to leave Forest Grove at 11 a.m.

Finally this weekend, multiple lanes of I-205 between West Linn and Airport Way will be closed 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, to 5:00 a.m. Monday, Aug. 22. One lane will remain open at all times and work will only take place in one direction at a time. The closures are necessary to repair the concrete approaches to bridges on I-205. They will continue nightly through September.

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