Interstate 5 closes due to weather

MOUNT SHASTA, Ore. — Winter weather across the region caused major headaches for drivers Wednesday.

It led to miles of big-rigs at a standstill on the side of Interstate 5 in both Jackson and Siskiyou County.

“Most of the time, a lot of people are wearing shorts and flip-flops,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Shawn Gordon.

Officer Shawn Gordon has seen it all, especially when it comes to chain control.

“We have noticed a lot of people when they approach chain control, they have purchased chains, but they have no idea how to put them on,” Gordon said, “or how to use them, how to drive with them.”

Parts of Interstate 5 were closed to traffic causing heavy delays in both directions Wednesday, something Gordon says can happen often winter weather.

“Big-rigs being so large, when they come up to the chain control area, they stop in the road, they block lanes,” Gordon said.

And that’s exactly what happened. Miles of commercial trucks lining I-5 causing transportation departments like Caltrans to hold traffic. Because with the trucks in the way, they couldn’t plow the highways, worsening driving conditions.

“We weren’t able to keep up with the snow accumulation, and it just continued to cause more problems,” Gordon said.

Caltrans asked the Oregon Department of Transportation to hold traffic in Ashland so they could get a handle of the roads.

“We want to be able to get the roadways open as quickly as possible,” Gordon said, “and the plows from Caltrans district 2 can’t get through if we have big rigs and other vehicles blocking the roads.”

I-5 was reopened in both directions, but ODOT and Caltrans suggest checking Trip Check or Quick Map respectively for the latest information.

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