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Plan ahead for heavy traffic around Woodburn Thursday night

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Moonlight Madness at Woodburn Premium Outlets will mean traffic issues on Interstate 5 Thanksgiving night


JULIA COMNES - Woodburn Premium Outlets will be open from Thursday night through Friday night for its annual Moonlight Madness sale.ODOT is urging Thursday night travelers who use Interstate 5 between Portland and Salem to plan ahead because of anticipated heavy traffic congestion associated with shoppers arriving for the annual Woodburn Premium Outlet Stores 24-hour "Moonlight Madness" sale.

Also, with the Civil War scheduled at 1 p.m. Saturday in Corvallis, there will be added congestion on I-5 that day.

Each year, traffic can back up in both directions Thanksgiving night on I-5 near eit 271 as travelers and shoppers converge in the Woodburn area. Oregon State Police troopers and Oregon Department of Transportation concentrate patrol, enforcement and traffic assistance efforts on a four-mile stretch near the interchange.

While the recently rebuilt Woodburn Interchange has significantly reduced overall traffic congestion in the area, the hundreds of additional holiday shoppers converging on the area could still encounter some backups on the I-5 off ramps at exit 271.

ODOT highly encourages motorists visiting the outlets to consider using additional parking at the newly completed Woodburn Transit Facility, located just east of I-5. Motorists are also encouraged to consider other alternative routes to avoid the congestion at the Woodburn interchange.

Football fans heading to the Civil War on Saturday are reminded to leave early and allow plenty of travel time.

Travelers approaching the Woodburn interchange should stay in the left lanes to avoid any potential shopping traffic that might be backing up onto the freeway.

ODOT offers these safety reminders when traveling to or through the Woodburn Premium Outlet Stores area Thursday and Friday:

* Stay alert and focused while driving at all times.

* If going to the Outlet Stores, approach the Woodburn exit in the far right lane several miles before the exit.

* DO NOT STOP in the center or left lanes to merge into the far right lane of traffic that has already developed to take the freeway exit. Proceed to the next available exit and turn around and proceed to the northbound exit which normally has much less backup.

* Keep a safe following distance at all times.

* Before leaving, plan on using a possible alternative route to travel to or around the Woodburn area.

*On Saturday, football fans approaching the Woodburn interchange while heading to Corvallis for the game should stay in the left lanes.

* Check road and traffic conditions at www.TripCheck.com>www.TripCheck.com, or call 5-1-1.