ODOT: 1-5 drivers must carry chains at Ore.-Calif. border

ASHLAND, Ore. - Transportation officials said that all southbound vehicles on Interstate 5 must carry chains for the stretch of road just north of the California border on Friday due to severe winter weather.

Following a 5-hour closure of I-5 near Ashland, the Oregon Department of Transportation said that all southbound vehicles must carry chains after Exit 14 because of snowy weather that could possibly cause driving hazards..

Officials said that 4x4 vehicles are excluded from the chain requirement.

After closing a similar stretch of I-5 on Thursday, officials issued a "southbound truck hold" Friday morning, stopping all truck traffic between Yreka and Redding.

Officials briefly reopened I-5 to trucks at around noon before ODOT issued a full freeway closure at 5 p.m. Friday.

Officials said that the severe weather could cause temporary holds for all vehicles if conditions get worse, adding that the weather can change quickly without any warning.

The Jackson County Expo opened at Central Point (exit 33) for overflow truck traffic.

ODOT also asked all local Ashland-area commuters to use Highway 99 or the Phoenix and Talent I-5 exits to help alleviate traffic.

Chains were required Thursday over Siskiyou Summit for travelers who could even get there: I-5 was closed between Canyonville south of Roseburg and Grants Pass for 7 hours on Thursday.

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