November 20, 2012
Public Affairs Specialist - ODOT Region 2
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Oregon State Police (OSP), Marion County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), Woodburn Police Department (WPD) and ODOT urge Thursday night travelers who may use Interstate 5 between Portland and Salem to plan ahead because of anticipated heavy traffic congestion associated with shoppers arriving for Woodburn Company Stores' 24-hour "Moonlight Madness" sale.
According to OSP Lieutenant Tim Fox, traffic backed up for several miles last year in both directions Thanksgiving night on Interstate 5 near Exit 271 as travelers and shoppers converged in the Woodburn area. OSP troopers, working with MCSO, WPD and ODOT, will concentrate patrol, enforcement and traffic assistance efforts on a four mile stretch near the interchange.
Eighty-two (82) citations were issued to motorists last year during a six-hour period for violations including illegal stopping / standing on the highway, failure to obey traffic control device, failure to use safety restraints, driving while suspended, and driving uninsured. One person was arrested for DUII and three others cited for Recklessly Endangering Another Person. There was a four-vehicle non-injury crash that occurred prior to troopers' arrival to start working in the area.
OSP and ODOT encourage travelers to use alternative routes off Interstate 5 to get around the anticipated Woodburn-area congestion. For example, southbound traffic may want to consider using Exit 283 (north of Woodburn) to get around congestion.
OSP, MCSO, WPD and ODOT offer these safety reminders when traveling to or through the Woodburn Outlet Mall area Thursday night:
* Stay alert and focused while driving at all times.
* If going to the outlet mall, approach the Woodburn exit in the far right lane several miles before the exit.
* DO NOT STOP in the center or left lanes to merge into the far right lane of traffic that has already developed to take the freeway exit.
* Keep a safe following distance at all times.
* Before leaving, plan on using a possible alternative route to travel to or around the Woodburn area.
* Know before you go. Check road and traffic conditions on ODOT's travel site, www.TripCheck.com, or call 5-1-1.
Travelers are asked to report any possible intoxicated or dangerous drivers to OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865) or 9-1-1.