Civil War brings 15K extra cars to I-5 Saturday

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Police ask drivers to plan accordingly when hitting the roads on Saturday, as ODOT anticipates upwards of 15,000 additional vehicles using Interstate 5 and other roads to get to Corvallis for the Civil War football game.

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Between football fans attending the game, Thanksgiving weekend travelers and shoppers all driving on the freeways or highways (like Hwy 34 or Highway 99W), the Oregon Department of Transportation said that drivers should include extra travel time in their plans.

The increased traffic affects anticipated travel times and increases the potential for highway incidents and crashes, state police said.

The worst spots: I-5 near Wilsonville; I-5 from Salem to the Corvallis exit; and the Eugene/Springfield vicinity.

Drivers should also expect to see more officers patrolling the roads as a part of increased enforcement efforts during the holidays, police officials said.

The Oregon State Police asked game day travelers to keep these safety tips in mind when they head to Saturday's Civil War Game:

  • Have a game plan before you leave. Up to the minute road and traffic condition updates are available on ODOT's travel information website at or by calling 5-1-1.
  • Be patient and alert so you can make safe driving decisions.
  • Be aware of alternative routes in case your first travel choice is affected by traffic problems.
  • Avoid distractions and keep your emotions in check while driving and when at the game.
  • Buckle up and have a sober, rested driver.

Oregon State Police urged Duck and Beaver fans attending Saturday's match up to "enjoy the game in a courteous and non-offensive manner". Over 80 fans were ejected from the last Civil War at Reser Stadium because of to alcohol violations or disruptive behavior, officials said.

Lieutenant Steve Mitchell, the state police area commander at Oregon State University, encourages fans to report disruptive behavior within the stadium to troopers, crown management security or OSU guest services. He added that people can report crowd problems by texting the word "GO BEAVS" plus your message to 69050. The message should include the reported crowd behavior problem/issue and the location (section, row and seat) where it is occurring.

"Safety is our number one priority. We ask everyone to make positive choices and conduct themselves in an appropriate manner in and around the stadium," said Lieutenant Steve Mitchell, OSP Area Commander at the Oregon State University office.

Master Sergeant Lang Hinkle with Oregon State Police had a few other tips for travelers.

"Time your departure so you're not hitting those areas an hour or two before the game time starts and you'll probably experience less congestion," said Hinkle. "We ask folks to be patient, watch your following distance, and know where your exits are."

"No matter how far you are driving, have a sober, rested driver behind the wheel of your vehicle before and after the game," said Phillips.

State, county and city police, along with ODOT, encourage reporting any traffic-related incidents and possible intoxicated or dangerous drivers by calling 9-1-1 or OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-24DRUNK (800-243-7865).