ASHLAND, Ore. —
UPDATE: Before 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, ODOT said that it has reopened I-5 southbound at Ashland to allow for travel into California. Traffic will still be metered at Ashland Exit 11, so travelers are told to expect slow traffic and long delays.
"Once in California expect continued delays/congestion, slow and possibly stopped traffic and winter driving conditions in the corridor toward Redding," the agency said. "Depending location in California, drivers should be prepared to install chains."
(Updated 9:27 a.m. 1/28/21)
UPDATE: ODOT says that it has shut down southbound I-5 traffic at south Ashland again at Caltrans' request. Winter weather is continuing to have major impacts in northern California from Yreka south through Weed and Mt. Shasta.
California Highway Patrol also said that southbound traffic has been halted at south Yreka due to the same heavy snow conditions.
(Updated 7:52 p.m. 1/27/21)
INITIAL REPORT: As traffic crews in northern California continue working to clear snowbound roadways, the Oregon Department of Transportation says that it is letting through a limited stream of traffic south of Ashland and into California.
ODOT closed I-5 southbound at Exit 14 south of Ashland earlier on Wednesday to relieve the pressure faced by overwhelmed California traffic crews. In southern Siskiyou County, heavy snow brought I-5 traffic to a halt overnight and well into Wednesday.
Now ODOT says that it will allow limited traffic through the Exit 14 closure, attempting to keep small amounts of traffic moving over the passes.
"ODOT will meter traffic at south Ashland Exit 11, so expect slow traffic and congestion," the agency said. "Expect long delays, slow and possibly stopped traffic and winter driving conditions. If you can delay travel until tomorrow or later, conditions and travel times are expected to improve."
Caltrans said around the same time that vehicles are being metered at the junction of I-5 southbound and Highway 3 in Siskiyou County due to the weather conditions. California Highway Patrol confirmed that I-5 is slowly being opened to traffic from south Yreka.
Chains are required on certain stretches of I-5 in California, though they are not required over the Siskiyou Summit.
The northbound lanes of I-5 will remain closed until crews can remove a jack-knifed truck on the freeway near the Fawndale exit in northern California.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.
TRAFFIC ALERT: All vehicles are being screened for chains on southbound I-5 at Edgewood.
— Caltrans District 2 (@CaltransD2) January 28, 2021