We received a heads-up from the Oregon Department of Transportation about new variable message reader boards that will begin to be installed over Interstate 84 causing delays known as "rolling slowdowns".

Drivers can expect crews to conduct these occasional rolling slowdowns over the next two months.

The first slowdowns will take place tomorrow morning (Thursday May 14th) in the eastbound lanes around 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. between milepost 200 west of Pendleton and milepost 221 near the top of Cabbage Hill, and then again on May 18th, 20th and 22nd.

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These traffic control maneuvers will continue through the month of May in the eastbound lane at this and other locations.

Same deal late May through June for the westbound I-84 freeway.  Please plan extra travel times and drive with caution through this and all work zones.

During the rolling slowdowns pilot cars will slow traffic to 30 mph along a 20-mile section of freeway ahead of the project location. This creates a short window of time at the construction site with no traffic, allowing crews to safely work on and over the freeway.

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The slower speeds also mean it will take you more than double the travel time while in the rolling slowdown, with delays of 30 minutes or more. Eastbound freeway on ramps at Exits 202, 207, 209, 210, 213 and 216 will be temporarily closed in the slowdown zone until the pilot car traffic passes the interchange.

Freeway off ramps are not impacted.

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Exiting variable message boards along the freeway will announce the slowdowns and reminders about the project are posted on TripCheck.com.

The work is part of Oregon's I-84 Pendleton-La Grande Snow Zone Safety Improvement Project that is installing about a dozen digital sign boards, cameras, lighting, road/weather sensors, a new freeway ramp gate and other features that will assist drivers in helping to keep them safe while motoring through the area. The $15.6 million project began last year and will be completed before winter.