‘Lifeline’ route opened on Hwy 58 to Oakridge to restore power, provide critical services

Crews working to clear Highway 58 near Oakridge. (Photo: ODOT)

OAKRIDGE, OR (KPTV) - Crews opened a “lifeline” route on Highway 58 to allow utility companies into Oakridge to work on restoring power after a major snowstorm slammed the area.

The Oregon Department of Transportation said the route was opened Tuesday. ODOT workers were escorting utility companies into Oakridge to make the necessary repairs to infrastructure and power lines.

A fuel delivery was also escorted into Oakridge from Highway 97 on the east side.

ODOT stated crews would continue to escort “mission critical services” into Oakridge, while also working to assist stranded drivers.

Highway 58 remains closed indefinitely to all other traffic in the area.

“There are still more trees to clear and snow to plow before Highway 58 can be opened to regular vehicle traffic,” according to ODOT. “There is no estimate when the road will re-open.”

A record-setting snowstorm hit the Lane County area. An Amtrak train was stranded near Oakridge for more than 36 hours before finally leaving the area Tuesday morning.

The Oakridge School District canceled classes again Wednesday and said the school closures would continue until power is restored.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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