WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Black Ice on 101 near Three Rocks Road…BLACK ICE tonight, Monday night and Tuesday night throughout western Oregon

Bonnie Rios photo

A couple from Washington State lost control on some black ice on Highway 101 near Three Rocks this morning. Authorities say they lost control and soon found themselves upside down in a ditch. The occupants said they did not require any medical attention, although one of them suffered a slight laceration.

It bears repeating that Oregon roads and highways are very prone to black ice due to general moisture on the ground and on highways. Small stream and groundwater flows sometimes reach the pavement and quickly freezes posing ice rink conditions during nighttime and early morning hours.

The weather forecast calls for below freezing temperatures along the coast, and much colder inland tonight, Monday night and Tuesday night. Just because the speed limit sign says 55 mph doesn’t mean it’s safe to drive 55 mph all the time. Anti-lock braking systems, 4-wheel drive, even snow tires don’t guarantee 100% traction on black ice. If you’ve got a thermometer read-out on your dash board, pay very close attention to it, especially when driving to the valley and going over mountain passes. Black ice can form at temperatures starting at 40 degrees in the shadows and on bridges especially.

So allow extra time while commuting anywhere during the night and early morning hours.

Newport: Free child car seat check-ups Saturday at Newport Fire Department on NW 10th.

Newport Fire Dept. NW 10th and Nye.

The Newport Police Department and Newport Fire Department will conduct a Car Seat Check-Up event on Saturday, December 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The event will take place at the Newport Fire Department, located at 245 NW 10th Street.

Donations of canned or nonperishable food items are being accepted for the Lincoln County Food Share. Donations of new, unwrapped toys are also being accepted for the Holiday Children’s Toy Drive to help local area youth during the holidays.

Any questions concerning this event may be directed to Officer Brad Purdom at 541-574-3348.

Highway 20 still down to one lane of travel 6 miles west of Eddyville – river undercutting the road bank.

Yaquina River bank undercut from high water
ODOT photos

ODOT continues to restrict Highway 20 to one lane of travel, six miles west of Eddyville. The roadway was discovered to have no river bank shoulder last evening after swift currents of the Yaquina River undercut the bank. ODOT officials say they are hiring a contractor to replace the bank and strengthen it so that it’s safe to drive on. Reconstruction of the bank could take up to three days, according to ODOT. In the meantime ODOT flaggers will control alternating traffic using the westbound lane.

The stretch of road involved will be bypassed when the Highway 20 upgrade project is completed in 2015.

ODOT taking steps to avert more serious crashes at sharp curve east of Eddyville

In late October, and man and his adult daughter were killed on a curve east of Eddyville that has become somewhat notorious lately for serious crashes. A pickup coming eastbound crossed over the centerline and killed them both October 25th.

ODOT has announced that they have installed rumble strips in the pavement in both approaches to the curve to further get the attention of motorists, signaling that something challenging is directly ahead; a sharp curve. In addition to the regular warning signs, ODOT is assigning a portable electric message sign to alert holiday travelers. They’re also using bright orange construction barrels lining the road to slow down traffic entering the curve from the east and the west.

As they used to say in the old days, “Slow down and live.”

ODOT says that curvy part of Highway 20 will be by-passed when the new section is completed in 2015.

The old warehouse at Newport’s new International Terminal came crashing down

Earlier this month, construction crews became destruction crews at the Port of Newport’s emerging International Terminal. They had already removed on old concrete warship from the west end, and entombed another concrete warship on the east end. And finally they got around to taking down the old warehouse that had withstood Oregon’s wind and rain for decades.

On October 4th, after they had cleared out every and anything of value from the building, they kicked out the building’s north side supports and then pulled on a cable tied to the building. And down it came with a loud crash, much to the inconvenience of some seagulls that were just moments earlier enjoying it as a warm perch.

With the warehouse now down and the debris cleared out, construction crews will now finish the easterly end of the terminal. Crews say the rebuilt Newport International Terminal will be ready next Spring for it’s main operating company, Teevin Brothers out of Rainier. They are expected to start shipping logs to Asian ports by late Summer or early Fall.

Meanwhile, a special task force is working with the Newport City Council and neighbors along Moore Road and Bay Boulevard to re-align the intersection at the bottom of the hill. Logging trucks will drop down Moore Road from Highway 20. At the bottom of Moore, they’ll have a no-stop left turn onto Bay Boulevard and then a straight shot east to the International Terminal. Fish Industry trucks will be able to come down Moore Road as well with a free no-stop turn to the right and then west onto Bay Boulevard. Traffic heading east from the Bayfront, which includes large fish trucks, will have to stop at Moore and Bay Boulevard. Then they’ll turn left up Moore Road and connect with Highway 20. Traffic headed west on Bay Boulevard will have a free right turn onto Moore. Other traffic continuing west on Bay Boulevard will have a stop sign at the intersection.

One complicating factor will be city work crews rebuilding the storm drain system that comes down Moore Road and ties into the Bayfront at the Embarcadero. Crews will have the road torn up for a time requiring flaggers to keep traffic moving through the area.

It’s going to be a very busy summer of 2013 at that end of town.

Clocks turn back 1 hour Saturday night…therefore…


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It’s time to remind ourselves of PEDESTRIAN AND BICYCLING SAFETY FOR US AND OUR CHILDREN

From Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)

“See and be seen” is a piece of advice making its way around the state, as residents prepare for the annual time change this Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 a.m. That’s when we set our clocks back one hour, and it means the morning commute will bring darkness to us one hour earlier. Pedestrians will want to wear bright or reflective clothing and drivers will want to be extra alert.

So far this year, 47 pedestrians have been killed in Oregon in motor vehicle traffic crashes – that’s the total pedestrian fatalities for 2011, and there are two months remaining in the year. Many factors contribute to these fatal incidents, including distractions, alcohol use and disregarding rules of the road – on the part of both drivers and pedestrians. That’s why it’s important that both take responsibility for being safe. ODOT’s Transportation Safety Division offers these reminders about driver and pedestrian safety:

Pedestrians and Bicyclists!!

* Enhance visibility when wearing dark clothes, such as bright or reflective clothing or shoes; drivers can’t avoid what they can’t see.
* Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
* Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing the street.
* Watch out for motorists’ blind spots.
* When possible, cross with others; there truly is safety in numbers – drivers are more likely to see a group of people than individuals.
* Remain alert! Don’t assume that cars are going to stop. Make eye contact with motorists before crossing paths.
* Use crosswalks and walk on sidewalks whenever possible.
* Look left, right and left again before crossing. Watch for turning cars.

Motorists

* Always have an eye out for pedestrians, especially during dark hours.
* When you are entering a popular pedestrian area, expect that you may encounter them and slow down ahead of time.
* Be prepared to stop when approaching crosswalks.
* Drive at cautious speeds in rainy weather and in low-light areas.
* Eliminate distractions such as cell phones so you can focus on driving.
* Remember, road conditions can affect your ability to slow down or stop. So, BE ALERT!

In 2011, 47 pedestrians died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Safety advocates are encouraging drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant in looking out for one another.

Of the 47 pedestrians who died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2011:
* 34 were illegally in the roadway
* 16 had a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
* 20 wore dark clothes (were not visible)
* 10 were crossing in a crosswalk or at an intersection
* 11 were not in a roadway
* Of the drivers involved in the fatal crashes:
* 4 were driving too fast
* 5 made driver errors such as an improper turn

Most of the fatal crashes occurred in dry weather (37) and in low-light or dark conditions (32).

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