City of Medford, Jackson County Roads working to keep roads clear and safe

SOUTHERN OREGON — While ODOT is handling the interstate and local highways, the City of Medford and Jackson County Roads are keeping our streets and back-roads as clear and safe as possible.

Snowplows, sanding, and grading have all been happening since before many of us were up and awake this morning in the Rogue Valley.

As the city and county work to keep our roads clear, they ask that you drive safely.

Travelers on I-5 were stopped near Ashland Wednesday, discovering they needed chains for their tires to safely cross the Siskiyou Summit.

“My husband said, ‘Oh, we can do without’, then we got to the checkpoint and he said ‘No, unless you have 4-wheel drive and snow tires, then you need to turn down this road and Les Schwab’s will help you put them on,” said I-5 traveler, Sue Pittman.

She’s traveling from Washington to Yuma, Arizona, “Where we hope to find sunshine,” she said.

She says she and her husband are lucky, they don’t have a timeline so they’re able to take all the time needed to get chains on their car.

“We’re going to have to take it easy and go slow with the traffic because you can’t drive fast on them, which is fine – we’re just going to chug our way and try to get past Yreka or Shasta,” Pittman said.

Steve Lambert, the Director of Jackson County Roads, says his crew has been working since 4:30 in the morning to keep the roads safe.

“We have 16 snow plows currently out on county roads, 5 graders that are out in the areas hit heavily by snow, and we have 12 sanders, so you know, we’re pushing 30 pieces of equipment out there on the county roads with operators,” Lambert said.

The City of Medford doesn’t have plows, since they’re rarely needed.

However, Public Works Director John Vial says a couple of workers were out as early as 4 a.m.

“They were out this morning sanding the roads, making sure that drivers were safe, we had that little bit of snowfall and we did a little bit of sanding on the bridges primarily as a result.”

Of course, no matter where you drive, drive with caution, leave plenty of space between vehicles, and be prepared for anything.

“Especially if you’re going over higher passes like Dead Indian Memorial Road, carry chains, extra food, water, blankets and be ready for the conditions,” said Lambert.

Vial says Medford is planning to get snowplows in the future, but they won’t be here this winter.

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