ODOT prepares for winter weather, holiday traffic

ASHLAND, Ore. — With snowflakes already starting to fall on the Siskiyou Summit, ODOT is preparing their equipment to hit the roads.

With a mix of winter weather and the busiest travel week of the year, ODOT is fully staffed and ready. They have been preparing for months.

“We have all of our de-icer. We have our sand ready to go. We have our salt ready to go,” Gary Leaming, ODOT, said.

Leaming says they’re down to last minute prep.

“Chains on the grader, that’s kind of the last piece of equipment. We have already plowed snow. We’ve sanded up here on the Siskiyous already and so we’re ready for that big push of weather,” Leaming said.

Leaming says they’re going to try to keep the pass clear and open throughout the week, but with snow and heavy traffic, expect delays.

“Mother Nature may overwhelm us at some points and we may have to close things off, so we can get a breather and get things clear” Leaming said.

While ODOT is preparing the roads, they say drivers also need to do their part.

“We want to keep people moving. We want to keep the road clear, but for motorists, we want them to be ready as well,” Leaming said.

The first step, is making sure your car can handle the conditions.

“A lot of people coming in getting traction ready,” Shim Baxter, assistant manager at Les Schwab in Ashland, said.

Les Schwab in Ashland says they always see a rush right before the first taste of winter.

“Putting on their winter tires. Chains are available. If you’re going over the pass make sure you have those. Just make sure you’re ready for the weather,” Baxter said.

Les Schwab was fully booked Monday changing out tires and selling chains. For the rest of the week, they suggest you show up early to get on the list and make sure you are ready for the drive ahead.

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