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Variable Speed is in Effect on Highway 26 near Highway 47
05/24/2011
Kimberly Dinwiddie
ODOT Community Affairs
(503) 731-8281

 
Drivers need to watch for changing speed limits on Sunset Highway
 
Starting Tuesday, May 24, 2011, motorists will notice electronic speed limit signs on U.S. Highway 26 (Sunset Highway) near Oregon Highway 47 (Nehalem Highway). The speed limits in this area will change based on traffic volumes. Motorists need to be aware of the changing speeds, as Oregon State Police and the Washington County Sheriffs Office will enforce the posted speeds.
 
The speed limit will vary from 30 to 50 mph, depending on the traffic volume. Speeds will not change more than once every 15 minutes.
 
U.S. Highway 26 is a popular route to the Oregon coast and sees periods of heavy traffic, particularly on weekends in the summer months. During these periods, motorists on OR Highway 47 turning left (eastbound) onto U.S. Highway 26 are finding the maneuver unsafe and difficult.
 

Sensors installed in the road control the variable speed limit signs and will slow traffic on U.S. Highway 26 in both directions as motorists approach OR Highway 47 during periods of heavy congestion. Slowing traffic on the highway provides a safer environment for motorists turning left, reducing the potential for accidents.
 
This variable speed system is the first of its kind in Oregon, although variable speed limit signs have been implemented in many other states.  ODOT is implementing this new technology as an interim solution to the turning problems at the U.S. Highway 26 and OR Highway 47 intersection (also know as Staley’s Junction). Future plans call for a new freeway interchange at this location.