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Labor Day Weekend Could Bring Traffic Headaches

Brian Bull

With highs expected to reach the 90’s this Labor Day weekend, officials are warning of major traffic jams as Oregonians try to escape the heat.

When temperatures soar in the Willamette Valley, Oregonians can be relied on to head for the coast or the mountains. And when the heat wave coincides with a long weekend, it adds to up headaches on the highways.

Despite the pandemic, the usual rules apply when it comes to anticipated traffic tie-ups.

“Keep your fuel tank at least half full," said Oregon Department of Transportation spokesman Lou Torres. "But be careful not to use back roads or logging roads, because there are a lot of potential hazards there if they think they’re going to try to take a shortcut to get around the traffic.”

Torres said people heading out for the weekend should remember that rules about masks and social distancing apply even in rural parts of the state. He said drivers should make sure to bring along enough sanitizer and face masks for everyone in the vehicle. Packing a roll or two of toilet paper wouldn't either, he said.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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