How to stay safe during Memorial Day weekend travel in Oregon

“Slow down and be aware of fellow travelers who may not be familiar with our state highways.”

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) – With Memorial Day weekend here and summer travel season around the corner, the Oregon Department of Transportation wants people to know a few key things before hitting the road.

ODOT suggests checking your route on with more cameras now showing road conditions, more real travel times and construction projects. With major events planned throughout the area, the department is asking people to plan for delays.

“Watch for message signs warning of congestion,” ODOT said in a press release. “Slow down and be aware of fellow travelers who may not be familiar with our state highways.”

The announcement suggests people also consider a car-free trip by taking the bus or Amtrak, along with walking or biking around town.

Driving electric? ODOT says there are upgraded EV charging stations along major roads like I-5, I-84 and US 101. Some chargers on these roads are part of the West Coast Electric Highway network and now have upgraded plug types that can connect to more EV models .

You can spot the new chargers by their orange-colored stickers.

Oregon has about 2,100 public EV charging stations throughout the state, according to the department.

“We’re about to get a lot more along major roads and in Oregon’s communities over the next few years, courtesy of ODOT’s pledge of $ 100 million for EV charging infrastructure,” noted the press release.

During the summer months, people can also expect construction on roads and bridges. People can visit ODOT’s project tracker to see what’s planned.

The department says to watch for orange, slow down around work zones and help everyone get home safely.

Other advice is to take extra caution around chip seals, which is a lower-cost paving method that extends the life of the road. Drivers are told to slow down as there can be loose rock around that may fly and break windows or chip paint.

ODOT says people should expect delays on OR 224, OR 22, OR 126 and OR 138 as crews continue to remove rocks and debris over the highway, fix fire-damaged roads, remove hazardous trees and re-seed with native plants and repave.

“Last year in Oregon, cars were the number one source of wildfires during the summer. Do your part to prevent them, ”the department stated. “If you have to pull off the road, stay on hardened surfaces and avoid dry grass. Never, ever toss a lit cigarette or any burning materials from your vehicle. ”

Before heading out, check your coolant, hoses and your tires, the press release added.

“Have emergency supplies in your vehicle,” ODOT said. “Food, water, extra medications, a first aid kit, a paper road map, phone charger, jumper cables, a safety vest and a flashlight all may come in handy as you travel.”

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