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Jackson County Roads
News & Information

GPS Winter Use Warning

Don't blindly follow your GPS in a winter storm - or anytime!

  • 21 November 2022
  • Author: J Domis
  • Number of views: 1561
GPS Winter Use Warning

We are once again urging travelers to not blindly follow their GPS devices to navigate around road closures in winter storms. 

When driving conditions deterioriate, there are times when roadways may be closed for safety purposes.  And when this happens along Interstate 5 in our area, many drivers will blindly follow their GPS device as it diverts them onto high mountain routes only to get stuck and require assistance.

Many motorists, including semi-trucks which are prohibited under winter conditions, will divert onto roads like Dead Indian Memorial Road; a remote, steep, narrow road that is 1000’ higher in elevation than Siskiyou Pass and is far more difficult to drive than I-5.  Most of these motorists are unprepared for the driving conditions and do not install chains and the natural result is multiple vehicles getting stuck, crashing, or sliding off the road requiring assistance.  Diverting from major highways to rural, remote county roads during a winter storm in hopes that you can 'make it' is not a wise decision.

Other challenging incidents have occurred when vehicles diverted from Interstate 5 have ventured onto Colestine Road headed toward California and have spent most of the night waiting for Jackson County Search and Rescue and County Road Department employees to rescue them.  Colestine Road is a narrow, very steep, gravel road that is unmaintained during evening hours .  The route is signed as not being maintained after dark in the winter, yet drivers continue to use this route as a bypass in bad weather.  It isn't a bypass - don't trust your GPS!

In summary, just because your mapping app says the road is open does not mean it is a wise decision to travel that way.  Remember, the farther off the normally travelled routes you get, the farther away from help you get.  Therefore, only travel in these areas if you have the necessary skills, vehicle and equipment to navigate these roadways and are fully prepared with emergency supplies for both your car and you; tire chains, flashlights, warm clothes, blankets, water, food, etc.


Current Work and Road Projects

Online Road Files

Gravel Road Information

Jackson County Roads is focused on maintaining our public road right-of-ways. To that end, we and our contractors are out in force most every day performing maintenance and construction work. The graphic above links to our projects page where you can access information about what we are accomplishing, including a list of what we plan to work on each day. See the Happening Today! - Daily Projects PDF to get information to help you plan your travel routes.

Adopt-A-Road Program

volunteers picking up trash

Jackson County Roads has a program to provide citizens who are concerned with Jackson County’s environment an opportunity to control litter and improve the appearance of the county road system. Learn about our Adopt-A-Road Program.

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