Hwy. 238 road cam turns on shortly

We just noticed the traffic/weather camera at Jacksonville Hill on Highway 238. How long has it been there, and is there a website where we can see what the camera sees?

— Steve and Priscilla W., by email

Well, Mr. and Mrs. W., soon you will be able to join the thousands of happy motorists who get to go online and see what awaits them on their journey over various Oregon elevations. Not now, but soon.

Gary Leaming, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the Jacksonville Hill camera is not operating yet, but soon will be linked into ODOT's TripCheck network of cameras. ODOT's techs are networking it to the TripCheck site now.

The cameras, which snap a photo every five minutes, are situated along many of Oregon's major roads, particularly those that are prone to inclement weather and slippery roads, or that are in heavily traveled areas.

Leaming said Applegate Valley residents have asked for a camera and current information for years. In the wintertime, he said, ODOT has had difficulty getting up-to-date road and weather conditions for Jacksonville Hill. And as local travelers know all too well, that hill can be treacherous in the winter.

The camera also will have infrared "night vision," similar to the cameras on Diamond Lake, Hayes Hill and Sexton Summit roadways. It also will provide temperature, wind speed and direction.

To check out ODOT's system of "roadcams," see www.tripcheck.com. You can click on the region you want to look at, and then click on the camera icon to bring up the image. The site also provides information about road closures, expected delays, chain requirements, etc.

The Tripcheck site also is available on smart phones by going to www.tripcheck.com/mobile.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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