Stuck in a rut: Drivers complain about highway hazard

Stuck in a rut: Drivers complain about highway hazard »Play Video
This photo taken Tuesday, April 23, shows the ruts in Highway 217 where ODOT crews removed the old lane markers. Drivers say the ruts are making driving difficult and dangerous. (KATU photo)

BEAVERTON, Ore. – The ruts in the road on Highway 217 southbound are a problem for Sue Sutton.

“It makes it very dangerous,” she said. “I’m surprised they haven’t fixed them by now.”

Oregon Department of Transportation crews had to move the lanes on Highway 217 to complete a construction project. As part of the project, they had to grind down the old lane markers, which created ruts in the road.

Sutton and many other drivers say the ruts toss their cars all over the roadway.

“I have to go in and out of the ruts and it basically pulls you from one side of the road to the other.”

That means she has to lightly swerve in the lanes to avoid the ruts.

“Cars in front of me do it. I do it because my tires will get stuck in it so it will swerve my car for me,” Sutton said.

ODOT is well aware of the problem, spokesman Don Hamilton said.

“When we moved the lanes over that wound up right where the right wheel is for a lot of motorists,” Hamilton said. “When we realized that this was not an insignificant problem, we’ve taken steps to make this move a lot quicker.”

Hamilton said the ruts have not caused any wrecks on Highway 217. ODOT plans to finish the median project in May instead of June.

Until then?

“Motorists always need to use caution and use care when they’re driving on these roads, but this is presenting an occasion for a little more caution, a little more care,” said Hamilton.

Sutton said she’d like to see something, like a warning sign, a little sooner than May.

“Road construction, please be aware, motorcycles take extreme caution, just to kind of let you know what’s going on,” she said.