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Caution Urged As McKenzie Highway Reopens After Fire

The McKenzie Highway will re-open Friday at noon after being closed for major repairs from the Holiday Farm Fire. But, it won’t be the same road we remember.

Oregon Department of Transportation crews are still removing hazardous trees and rocks from Highway 126 east of Eugene. ODOT’s Angela Beers-Seydel said they’ve lowered the speed limit to 45 miles per hour.

“We’re thinking about the safety of the people that have gone through this fire and we want to have that access be for them.”

Beers-Seydel said the road is still treacherous because of the fire’s damage. And when the rain comes, landslides are likely.

“We’ll see flooding because the ditches are full of debris.” Beers-Seydel said,  “All of those pieces make it so it’s not the road that people expect it to be and it won’t be for a long time.”

Those who don’t live or work in the area are urged to avoid Highway 126 and the other roads affected by the fires.m

ODOT has alternate routes and updated road information at tripcheck.com

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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