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Watch for automated flaggers on state highways in Douglas County

Douglas County motorists traveling between Interstate 5 and the Oregon coast may notice new traffic control devices in state highway work zones.

For the next month, Oregon 38 (Umpqua Highway) traffic will be reduced to a single lane through Scottsburg (milepost 16). Meanwhile, motorists on Oregon 42 (Coos Bay-Roseburg Highway) will see intermittent weekday lane closures west of Camas Valley (milepost 45-52).

Traffic at each location will be controlled by an automated flagging system. Each system consists of a modified traffic signal with a crossing arm at each end of a work zone. During the signal’s red-phase, the arm will lower to block traffic in one direction. During the yellow-phase, the arm will lift, allowing traffic to pass through the work zone. There is no green phase.

Similar “robot” flagging systems have been used for nearly a decade throughout Oregon. They are designed to keep everyone, including flaggers, safe on the highway. ODOT has provided a video that explains the system.

Motorists are advised to drive with caution through each work zone and watch for advance warning signs.

The lane closure in Scottsburg will allow prime contractor Hamilton Construction to work on the north approach to the new bridge across the Umpqua River. Traffic is likely to be shifted onto the new bridge later this month, though work will continue throughout the summer.

On Oregon 42, ODOT and prime contractor Suulutaaq recently began work on a six month project that will pave 6.8 miles of Oregon 42, stabilized a slide area and repair several bridges.

For more information, contact ODOT Public Information Officer Dan Latham at 541-817-5200 or Dan.Latham@odot.oregon.gov.

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