ASHLAND, Ore. -- ODOT Maintenance Specialist Joe Backen said there's a lot to do to make sure Interstate 5 is ready for when the snow begins to fall. Tuesday, it made sure frost didn’t creep from the shoulder and into the lanes.
"We have an MgCl2 which is a salt based liquid product that we put out on the road that will prevent any frost or freezing so we can maintain safety for the traveling public,” Backen said.
ODOT will be salting the pass once the snow hits the freeway to help it melt faster. It will also add sand to the road to add some traction and make sure everyone traveling will stay safe.
“It can get a little crazy. A lot of cars to watch out for is the main thing.”
When it starts snowing, ODOT splits the mountain in half.
“So what that allows you to do is when it’s snowing hard and fast, it’s hard to keep up with. So pretty much you’re taking up half of the mountain, so it allows you to get back to that half of the mountain a lot faster than to if we’re doing the whole thing,” Backen said.
Each side of the freeway will have a deicer, a salt truck and a sander.
“It allows us to pay attention to a smaller portion of the freeway, one set of three which allows us to put more product out, plow snow faster, keep that cinder on the road making sure people have traction and can drive safely through the Siskiyou pass,” Backen added.
While ODOT is making sure the roads are safe, travelers need to drive safely too.
“Keep your situational awareness up. You never know what’s going to happen in the car in front of you, behind you next to you. Going there faster is not going to get you there faster. That’s just creating a hazard for everybody around you, really,” Backen added.
ODOT recommends anyone driving over the pass to keep chains in their car.