After series of crashes, ODOT evaluates ramp from I-5 NB to Hwy 217
UPDATE: ODOT reopened the ramp to traffic early Friday morning.
Original story below.
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. - After a series of crashes in a short period of time, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close the flyover ramp connecting northbound Interstate 5 with Oregon 217 on Thursday night so crews can evaluate the ramp.
The flyover will be closed from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, ODOT said. Drivers can use the Kruse Way off-ramp (exit 292B) to reach northbound 217 during the closure.
A metal joint connecting two parts of the ramp is sticking up by about a half-inch. ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton said the joint could be causing the crashes.
Drivers who crashed spun out of control. No one's been seriously hurt but the accidents have caused major traffic problems.
Surveyors will evaluate the ramp and ODOT crews will test the road surface friction during the closure. ODOT said in a news release Thursday that the department will then determine if any changes have taken place on the ramp.
Hamilton says if you go 35 mph or less you should be safe. ODOT has even put up a new electronic sign that displays the advisory speed limit. Because it's advisory, it's not the actual speed limit, which is 55 mph, meaning you could go faster than 35 mph and not be pulled over.
Researchers at Portland State University who monitor traffic patterns say drivers go an average of about 60 mph over the ramp.