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Watch out for traffic delays on roads during spring break.

Byline: Jeff Wright The Register-Guard

Heading to the coast for spring break?

Not so fast.

At least not if you're getting there via Highway 126, one of several state roadways where construction work could mean waits of up to 20 minutes, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Motorists heading west to Florence on Highway 126 can expect delays over a six-mile stretch between Walton and the Peterson Tunnel east of Mapleton. Crews are retrofitting bridge rails on seven bridges, upgrading guardrails and making minor shoulder improvements. The project also includes asphalt overlay paving.

The project requires the closing of one lane, as well as an eastbound passing lane. The work is being done during daytime hours, weather permitting.

The heavier traffic volume expected over spring break means that more motorists will be waiting the full 20 minutes, said Don McLane, assistant project manager. Even with the delays, travelers probably will reach their destination sooner than choosing an alternative route to the coast, he said.

McLane cautioned that many motorists are failing to slow down in the construction zone, where traffic fines double. Transportation officials have asked Oregon State Police to help enforce the 55 mph speed limit in the area, McLane said. "They've already ticketed a couple of people going over 75 mph," he said.

Spring break travelers heading north, south or east should have an easier time of it, though there could be some delays on Highway 58 east of Oakridge, where crews are installing new rail between Kitson Ridge Road and the west entrance of the Salt Creek Tunnel.

Some ditch work and brush removal also could mean delays along portions of Highway 38 near Elkton.

ROAD CONDITIONS Contact: Call 511 or visit www.tripcheck.com online.
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Title Annotation:Transportation
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 19, 2004
Words:290
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