ODOT Issues Apology for Traffic Delay

Road ClosedCOTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Transportation is apologizing for a huge traffic delay Monday, south of Cottage Grove.

I-5 traffic was backed up more than ten miles, delaying drivers more than two hours.

ODOT started to replace a one mile stretch of road, Monday. Crews have to dig down four feet, replace each lane and pour new concrete.

They need to do the 10-week job during the warmer, dryer months and need to finish before August, when traffic numbers are the highest.

Dan Latham with ODOT Public Affairs says they’ve been asked hundreds of times why not wait until after Memorial Day.

“We made mistakes, we are going to learn from these mistakes, and we are going to do whatever is necessary to prevent this from happening again. Looking back, it’s clear that I made a mistake. Our traffic projections ahead of Memorial Day suggested that northbound I-5 traffic would be backed up about five miles, with delays of about 20 minutes, which is within our normal threshold. Clearly, our projections were wrong,” Lantham said.

He says messages should have been sent out, warning drivers, something they will do in July ahead of Independence Day.

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