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Crews open one lane on the highway between Vale and Burns, closed by mudslide

The highway between Vale and Burns is open for single-lane travel.
Tom Strandberg, public information officer with the Oregon Department of Transportation, said crews worked to get U.S. Highway 20, which had been closed between mile markers 189 and 223 due to several landslides Sunday, June 11, that had covered all lanes of travel with debris as high as 15 feet in some areas.
Strandberg said the transportation department hopes to open two travel lanes by Friday. However, he said, opening up more lanes depends on weather conditions.
Strandberg said crews have had to stop work due to rain storms, which brought more mud and debris yesterday.
“If we get more rain,” he said, “we’ll get more problems.”
Before the single lane opened, motorists were able to use alternate routes, which involved traveling on U.S. 26 to John Day and then south to Burns or via U.S. 95 through Jordan Valley to Burns Junction and then on Oregon Highway 78 to Burns.
With single-lane travel, the transportation department will use pilot cars and flaggers, according to Strandberg.
Strandberg said U.S. Highway 20 sees roughly 1,800 travelers daily.

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