Drivers on a 15-mile stretch of Highway 26 east of Government Camp are about see the speed limit drop from 55 mph to 45 mph. It’s a temporary move so crews can do patch-up work on rough areas of the highway.
The Oregon Department of Transportation said the speed reduction starts Friday between mileposts 70 and 85 on the Warm Springs Reservation.
ODOT said the lower speed limit will make work zones safer for crews who will work on temporary pothole and rut patches this summer and throughout the year.
ODOT said the speed change will add four minutes to the time it takes to drive this stretch.
A more permanent fix to completely repave the highway is planned in 2024, ODOT said.
The department adds that this is not the last speed reduction you are likely to see on roads it manages.
“With our budget already stretched thin, we could see more temporary fixes in the future,” ODOT said in a statement. “U.S. 26 will receive federal funding next year, but many of our lower volume roads may not. Our maintenance budgets aren’t built to repave roads; they are built to patch roads and do small repairs. A reduced maintenance budget and federal dollars not going as far means we will see a reduced level of service on many of our roads. We will need to use tools such as speed reductions to help navigate safety concerns and lessen impacts to all users.”