I-5 traffic lanes narrowed for construction project

, Posted: Sun, April 27 2014 at 11:48 PM, Updated: Mon, April 28 2014 at 9:03 PM

Phoenix, Ore.--  On Sunday night, work to close I-5 down to one lane in each direction began.

The project was supposed to start last week  but rainy weather delayed the project.

Construction crews will be working for the next 25 days on the project, installing a large stormwater pipe beneath the freeway about a half of a mile north of exit 24.

On Monday morning I-5 will be restricted down to one lane in each direction, and commuters will see 50 mile per hour speed limits through the work area.

O-DOT traffic analysts predict possibly two mile traffic backups in the area. They recommend leaving early and taking alternate routes if possible.

O-DOT officials say it's really important for drivers the work zone to be aware.

"Pay extra attention to your driving, put the cell phone down, leave extra following distance to the car in front of you in case you do have to break. The worst thing that we don't want to see is a crash in the work zone, cause that means addition backups," said Gary Leaming, an O-DOT spokesman.

The construction is part of the new $72 million Fern Valley Interchange Project expected to be finished in September of 2016.

ODOT officials say that dry and warm weather are the perfect conditions to get this project started and that's what they will be getting this week.

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