PORTLAND -- Drivers were advised to expect long delays on the major freeways in Portland Saturday and Sunday due to construction detours, and to avoid I-5, I-84 and I-405 southbound if possible, transportation officials said.
"As a reminder to drivers, Interstate 5 south is closed between the Fremont Bridge and the Marquam Bridge until 5 a.m. Monday," said Kimberly Dinwiddie of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation. "Exit 302A to the Rose Quarter, Broadway and Weidler is open to local traffic only and is heavily congested."
She recommended that drivers avoid the area completely and use I-205 between noon and 6 p.m. both days. She added that drivers approaching the closure should start merging as soon as possible to avoid crashes.
"Drivers on I-5 south need to merge into the right lane in advance of the left and center lane closures to exit onto the Fremont Bridge and avoid crashes due to last-minute lane changes," she said Saturday morning. "Last-minute merging is one of the leading causes of work zone crashes."
Saturday afternoon she told KGW those concerns had not been alleviated.
"We've been watching all day today as drivers make last-minute merges in inappropriate places," she said. "We've seen so many near-misses today; thankfully nobody has crashed pulling that move."
Live stream: Construction on Interstate 5
The southbound lanes will be closed again next weekend, and then the northbound lanes will close for the following two weekends.
Crews planned to post more signs and barrels Sunday to warn drivers of the closure and help control the traffic problems.
KGW Reporter Jacqueline Sit contributed to this report.