On the highway to hell.

Image: Courtesy ODOT

Remember the Oregon Department of Transportation’s apocalyptic bumper-to-bumper traffic predictions during last year’s solar eclipse? Extend those forecasts to two months. This July and August, round-the-clock I-5 and I-84 bridge closures will contribute to the Portland metro’s busiest road construction season in a decade. ODOT recommends taking a vacation (really, they said this), working from home, avoiding rush hours (6–9 a.m. and 3–6 p.m.), using public transit, biking, and, if all else fails, walking.

“We realize that not everybody can take a six-week vacation, but if you can take some time off, you at least avoid part of the nightmare,” says Kimberly Dinwiddie, the community affairs coordinator at ODOT.

Let's break it down:

7/8–23

Ramp from I-5 southbound to I-84 eastbound will completely close, 24/7.

7/25–8/6

Ramp from I-84 westbound to I-5 northbound will completely close, 24/7. During one of those weekends, ODOT will also close I-5 north between the Marquam and Fremont Bridges for paving.

7/27–8/27 

I-84 westbound from Lloyd Center to I-5 south will be reduced to a one-lane crawl.

3 hours

Estimated I-84 commute from I-205 to I-5 between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. Congestion could start as far east as Troutdale, north as far as Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge, and south as far as Sunnyside on I-205.

132,350

vehicles drive across the I-84 and I-5 interchanges daily.

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