ODOT cleans debris blocking state highways

ODOT cleans debris blocking state highways

FLORENCE, Ore. -- Clean up crews started working to clear two state highways Tuesday morning after rocks, mud, trees and a boulder fell onto the roadway, the department of transportation said.

Officials say that the recent bout of heavy rains and wind caused debris to block both Highways 101 and 126 in Lane County.

Oregon Department of Transportation crews got to work at around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday when they were called out to remove a large tree that fell across Highway 101.

The tree, located about 12 miles north of Florence, had fallen into some utility lines and blocked the roadway. 

By about 7:40 a.m crews managed to clear enough of the tree to get one lane open. They managed to completely clear the highway sometime before noon.

At around 8:30 a.m. a rock slide carried a large boulder onto one of the lanes of Highway 126 (or the Florence-Eugene Highway). Traffic was restricted near the rock fall until it was cleared roughly two hours later.

ODOT advises drivers traveling in rural, coastal or mountainous terrain to be prepared for winter driving conditions, and know that their drive might involve a slight detour or alternate route.

They added that drivers going on long rural trips should pack some extra blankets or clothing, a flashlight, some food and water and chains for traction (unless the vehicle has studded tires).

They added that it is also a good idea to start your trip with a full tank of gas and a charged cell phone battery.

Below are some other driving tips from ODOT:

All motorists should be prepared to travel on wet roads.  Motorists need extra stopping distance on wet roads. Watch for disabled vehicles, debris and other hazards commonly associated with wet weather driving and:
*     Maintain additional space between your vehicle and the one ahead;
*     Watch for hydroplaning, which remains a risk and can occur without warning. Reducing speed is the best prevention against hydroplaning;
*     Avoid distractions by minimizing other activities while driving.

Know Before You Go:

For the latest information on road conditions, visit our website or call 5-1-1 or 1-800-977-ODOT (6368).

If you're calling from outside of Oregon, please dial 503-588-2941.