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Highway 18 is now back open from the valley to the coast. ODOT crews using snow plows, front loaders and chain saws have been clearing over 100,000 board feet of douglas fir that was toppled by this week’s high winds and rain. Trees started falling Monday but road crews could not go in and clear the fallen timber until the wind stopped. At one point, a crew that went in early Tuesday saw trees still coming down, and so withdrew until daybreak Wednesday morning. Once inside the affected areas, they made a very quick clear of the timber and clean-up of the roadway.
ODOT maintenance supervisor Brian Morey said they will spend the rest of the day targeting which trees might still come down and remove them one at a time. Watch for flaggers over the next few days on Highway 18. Should the road close again due to falling trees, a detour via Highway 22 would remain as a detour. Add about a half-hour to your travel time if you take 22 out of Hebo or Grand Ronde.