The purpose of this project is to improve employee safety and traffic circulation in the event of I-84 closures in the Pendleton area, or points east, due to inclement weather or emergencies. Existing signage and closure gates are inadequate.
Project elements include installation of messaging signs and traffic control gates.
Mileposts 210.30 to 216.10.
Cost and Funding
This project is estimated to cost $2.1 million.
What Problem Will This Improve?
Employee and public safety is the main priority for this project. Other outcomes include more efficient interstate closures and openings, better traffic circulation in the area, and reduced congestion during closures.
The I-84 Exit 216 is a common location for freeway closure events not only due to local conditions, but also in response to closures further east since this is the last exit before the freeway becomes more remote and treacherous. During harsh winters, the interstate can be closed numerous times for extended periods.
When the interstate closes, ODOT employees are required to walk among traffic on the freeway to place cones and speak with drivers. Low light and low visibility make them vulnerable to traffic. Traffic often approaches the closure at the default freeway speeds between 55-70 mph as closures are applied. ODOT employees also position themselves at the top of the exit off-ramp to direct traffic to the truck stop to the north or a waiting area on Tokti Road to the south. Unfortunately, once a closure is in place the area quickly becomes overcrowded and roadside ODOT crews do not have the ability to effectively direct traffic to available parking.