First responders adjusting routes during construction season

Battalion Chief Ben Meigs said the I-105 project has had little impact on their response time and they do their best to avoid the construction if possible.

Posted: May 20, 2019 6:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore -- While the closure of the 6th Avenue on-ramp to Interstate 105 may have been a surprise to some drivers, first responders were prepared for alternate routes.

Battalion Chief Ben Meigs with Eugene Springfield Fire said they knew the closure was coming long before construction began.

"We get used to adjusting our routes to a different location based on what we know of the times and conditions," Meigs said.

TRAFFIC ALERT: I-105 6TH AVENUE ON-RAMP CLOSURE BEGINS

Angela Beers-Seydel​, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, said before a project begins, during and after, they meet with first responders and others to get their input on the potential impact. Officials with ODOT, city leaders and first responders have a meeting scheduled in early June so they can all get on the same page for construction projects slated to begin this summer.

"They need to know where we are, when we are going to be there and what we are doing so they know how it can impact their response times," Beers-Seydel said.

Meigs said the I-105 project has had little impact on their response times and they do their best to avoid the construction if possible. He said the biggest issues they see are drivers not pulling over to the right to allow emergency vehicles through.

"The 105 bridge, ODOT and the contractors have done an excellent job of making enough lanes for people to get out of our way," Meigs said.

The closure for the 6th Avenue on-ramp to I-105 is expected to last four weeks.

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