PENDLETON, Ore. – To accommodate the installation of new variable message reader boards over Interstate 84 we will conduct occasional rolling slowdowns at various locations between Pendleton and La Grande during the next two months. The first slowdowns will take place tomorrow morning in the eastbound lanes around 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. between milepost 200 west of Pendleton and milepost 221 near the top of Cabbage Hill, and again on May 18, 20 and 22. These traffic control maneuvers will continue through the month of May in the eastbound lane at this and other locations. Similar operations will take place late May through June for the westbound freeway. Please plan extra travel times and drive with cautions through this and all work zones.

During the rolling slowdowns pilot cars will slow traffic to 30 mph along a 20-mile section of freeway ahead of the project location. This creates a short window of time at the construction site with no traffic, allowing crews to safely work on and over the freeway. The slower speeds also mean it will take you more than double the travel time while in the rolling slowdown, with delays of 30 minutes or more. Eastbound freeway on ramps at exits 202, 207, 209, 210, 213 and 216 will be temporarily closed in the slowdown zone until the pilot car traffic passes the interchange. Freeway off ramps are not impacted. Several different work areas between Exit 216 and La Grande will require rolling slowdown operations over the next two months. Exiting variable message boards along the freeway will announce the slowdowns and reminders about the project are posted on TripCheck.com.

The work is part of our I-84 Pendleton-La Grande Snow Zone Safety Improvement Project that is installing about a dozen digital sign boards, cameras, lighting, road/weather sensors, a new freeway ramp gate and other features that will help keep you safe while driving through the area. The signs will be linked to road sensors and warn you about hazards such as snow, ice, fog, traffic delays or reduced speeds ahead. Local cities, counties, tribes, the trucking industry, and emergency service providers gave input during the development phase of this key safety program. The $15.6 million project began last year and will be completed before winter. Visit the project website at www.tinyurl.com/odot-region5.

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