JOHN DAY – A two-year pilot program to reduce restrictions on freight travel along U.S. Highway 395 between Pilot Rock and Mt. Vernon is being extended, the Oregon Department of Transportation announced.

The agency made the decision after two years with no incidents involving permitted 53-foot trailers along the length-restricted corridor. The extension began July 1.

Additional freight haulers can apply for the trip permits.

The agency will continue to monitor the route for permit compliance through the next phase.

The pilot project is intended to accommodate safe movement of 53-foot trailers and help boost local economies by giving freight carriers more options for transporting goods along the critical north-south route.

U.S. 395 is restricted for vehicles towing trailers in excess of 48 feet in length between milepoint 16B at Pilot Rock and milepost 121B at Mt. Vernon, due to numerous sharp curves and a narrow roadway.

The pilot program was approved in 2012 after one curve was widened near milepost 64B and an over-length vehicle warning system was installed between mileposts 50B and 60B.

For information about trip permits, transport companies can contact ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 503-373-0000.

The program is limited to a total of 20 permits per week for all carriers, with permits issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Carriers are charged an $8 fee for each permit.

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