STEAMBOAT, Oregon – The Oregon Department of Transportation has said Route 138E is now open to traffic between Steamboat and Slide Creek after a lengthy closure that began when the Jack Fire began to spread through the area.
ODOT said earlier this week that he hopes to reopen Highway 138E by this weekend as the Jack Fire now burns away from the hallway. The agency said that despite the blaze’s proximity to the highway, it caused relatively little damage compared to previous fires.
“The fire burned down on steep, rocky terrain, but we didn’t have as many large trees fallen on the highway as in previous fires,” said Jeremiah Griffin, acting district director of ODOT. .
Crews were working to clear several dangerous trees and other debris left along the pavement with the goal of reopening by this weekend.
âReopening a freeway after a wildfire is a balance,â Griffin said. “We work closely with our partners in any post-fire assessment and weigh the safety of the public and workers on the timing of the reopening.”
The burnt signage and the burnt sections of the guardrail are being evaluated for possible replacement. Griffin urged drivers to be careful when the freeway reopens, watch out for crews and expect delays due to slower speeds in the burn zone.
ODOT said motorists can also expect frequent delays throughout the summer between Idleyld and Steamboat (ext. 21-38) and near Diamond Lake (ext. 76-80) due to roadworks. rehabilitation of Archie Creek and Thielsen wildfires last year.