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The original item was published from 12/6/2013 2:30:00 PM to 12/6/2013 4:25:19 PM.

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Posted on: December 5, 2013

[ARCHIVED] Traffic Advisories - Eugene declares an ice-snow emergency - Drive Safely!

December 6, 2013

There are more crashes being reported. The public is advised that if they don’t need to travel, to stay home. There have been 160 crashes reported to 9-1-1 from 4 a.m. through 2 p.m., which highlights the risks.

If you do have to go out, please use extreme caution. For the homeward commute, stick to flat routes and avoid hills and on ramps if you can.
There are some streets that should be avoided:

There are some areas that should be avoided:

• Chambers from 24th to the top of the Hill
• 28th – Almaden to Chambers• Ferry Street Bridge
• Willamette from 32nd Avenue to 35th • Off ramp from 6th Avenue to I-105

28th and Chamber (Almaden) is not currently open to traffic - 28th is shut down from Chambers to Almaden as several vehicles are stuck in the snow. There were several crashes blocking traffic. They are working on a plow truck. There was one crash with a commercial truck into a car and tree. These so far have been slow speed crashes, where vehicles are slipping or sliding, with collisions into other vehicles or objects.

Willamette from 32nd to 35th is shut down also.

Ferry Street Bridge (7th to Coburg is closed). At issue is the on-ramp from Mill and W. 7th to northbound Ferry Street Bridge. There is sander enroute. Some of the vehicles are unable to go up the ramp, which is causing traffic to back up onto 7th.

Be advised that Beltline is also very messy right now.

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Eugene Public Works has declared an ice-snow emergency, effective immediately. Public Works opened its Emergency Command Center at 1820 Roosevelt Blvd. at 4:30 a.m. today in response to dry snow that blanketed the south end of the Willamette Valley overnight.

During ice-snow emergencies, on-street parking on priority transportation routes is banned. For a map of those streets, please see www.eugene-or.gov/snow. The ban allows emergency vehicles and snow-removal equipment to travel safely on roadways to respond to emergency situations. Last night, crews de-iced these roadways and they are currently plowing and sanding.

People are advised to drive cautiously. Roads are described as "messy," and the potential for trees and power lines to create dangerous situations. Roads are expected to be icy through the weekend. Traction devices are recommended.

The leaf collection is temporarily suspended and Public Works anticipates being back on schedule December 9.

Property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks abutting their properties.

A full description of ice-snow priority routes can be viewed at eugene-or.gov/snow. Also, the public may call 541.682.4800 to report hazards.

So far, today between 4:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. there have been 32 traffic crashes in Eugene. Please drive safely. Especially add plenty of driving distance between you and other vehicles.

Cold or rainy weather driving tips

• If it is icy out and you don't have to travel, stay home
• Slow down• Leave plenty of driving distance, don't accelerate quickly and don't brake abruptly
• Drive defensively and cautiously – your eyes should be looking ahead and down the road so you can see conditions and traffic and will be able to react appropriately and calmly• Even if you have a green light, check to see you are safe proceeding through the intersection. There may be vehicles sliding into the intersection, without the ability to stop due to road conditions and unsafe driving
• If you have an outside temperature gauge in your car, check it from time to time (These gauges are inexpensive and available at stores locally)• Drive as though you can't rely on your brakes
• Be aware that road conditions can change quickly as the temperature drops• The surface on overpasses and bridges freeze faster so be cautious
• Remove all ice on windshields, windows, headlights and tail lights prior to driving to ensure adequate visibility, and make sure the vehicle’s windshield is defrosted• Carry chains or traction devices if it is going to snow
• Check your tire pressure. It should be at least at the level recommended by the manufacturer. As the temperature drops, so does tire pressure • Turn headlights on
• If you crash, carefully evaluate the situation from inside your vehicle. Don't immediately get out because it is possible other vehicles might also be crashing near you. Don't stand between moving traffic and your vehicle. Use a flare, hazard lights or other signaling device to warn other drivers of the crash • Four-wheel drive vehicles and all-wheel drive vehicles are great at accelerating, but in snow or ice that doesn't help you stop or turn.
• Don’t use cruise control in freezing, near freezing, or rainy conditions. The powered wheels can lose traction. In freezing weather, be especially careful on overpasses and bridges.

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