May 23, 2024

I-5 southbound traffic starts flowing again

Trucks backup on the southbound offramp at Exit 14 in Ashland due to a weather-related I-5 closure Tuesday morning. Bob Palermini photo/@bobpal
March 28, 2023

Heavy snow in Northern California had closed highway almost all the way to Redding

Update, 5 p.m. Tuesday: All I-5 southbound lanes have reopened from Ashland to the California border, ODOT announced shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday, and Caltrans says northbound lanes are now open from north of Redding to the Oregon border. Chain restrictions remain in effect over Siskiyou Summit and a wind advisory remains in effect from Yreka to Week, with travel ill-advised for campers, trailers or permit loads, according to Caltrans.

Original story:

By Bert Etling,

Semitrailers and other vehicles awaiting the reopening of Interstate 5 are lining the highway and some surface streets in Ashland on Tuesday. Southbound traffic on the road was diverted off the highway starting about 7 a.m. due to severe winter conditions in Northern California, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). Northbound traffic is being stopped north of Redding, according to CalTrans, due to whiteout conditions. A wind advisory is in place from Yreka to Weed.

An ODOT traffic camera shows an empty Interstate 5 at Siskiyou Summit just after noon Tuesday.

ODOT put the closure in place just south of Exit 14, where Ashland Street (Highway 66) crosses I-5.

Semitruck drivers are asked to keep Ashland Street clear as they wait out the closure.

Motorists are cautioned not to attempt detours via Dead Indian Memorial Road or Colestin Road.

ODOT also says motorists may expect delays of 20 minutes to 2 hours on Highway 199 between Grants Pass and the Oregon-California border as crews work to remove downed trees on and near the roadway.

A wind advisory remains in effect until 8 p.m. today, Tuesday, with winds expected of 25-35 mph and gusts to 50 mph.

Some rain or snow is possible overnight, with the snow level dropping to 2,300 feet after midnight. 

Email Executive Editor Bert Etling at or call or text him at 541-631-1313.

Some trucks wait for I-5 to open in the parking lot at Bi-Mart in Ashland Tuesday morning. Bob Palermini photo/@bobpal
All southbound traffic was stopped just past Exit 14 due to severe winter conditions in Northern California. This view is looking north from the Ashland Street bridge over I-5. The Main Street bridge is visible in the background. Bob Palermini photo/@bobpal
All southbound traffic was stopped just past Exit 14 due to severe winter conditions in Northern California. Bob Palermini photo/@bobpal
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Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Email him at

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