PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Slick, icy roads are creating hazardous driving conditions around the region on Thursday.

Portland’s National Weather Service office is warning drivers to slow down, especially around bridges, where black ice forms faster.

“Having open air underneath the bridge means the cold air surrounds the bridge both above and below,” the NWS said. “If there’s even the chance that a bridge might be frozen, slow down, and do it before you cross the bridge — changing speed on ice is dangerous.”

Why bridges are more likely to freeze over. | Photo courtesy NWS

In Benton County, the cold, rainy, snowy weather has caused a spike in weather-related car crashes, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said.

“Drive carefully,” the Benton County Sheriff’s office wrote on social media. “We are experiencing icy roads and multiple weather-related crashes around the county. Be aware, the road is generally most slippery when temperatures are close to freezing. Shaded areas or bridges may still have icy spots even after the rest of the road has cleared.”

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is also warning drivers to drive cautiously as low-elevation snow remains possible throughout the Willamette Valley on Thursday.

“Snow will be spotty in nature, and will be combined with rain through most locations,” the Lane County Sheriff’s Office stated. “Some areas, especially those above 500 feet, may see minor accumulations while others will see no snow. While accumulation may not be heavy, be sure to travel with care as roads may still be slick in spots.”

Snow falling on Highway 26 Thursday afternoon near Hamlet Road. Traffic cameras looking east (left) and west (right). | ODOT

While the National Weather Service reports that most of the coastal snow that fell across Highway 101 last night has cleared, highways that follow Coast Range passes, like Highway 6 and Highway 26, remain snowy. Oregon Department of Transportation traffic cams show that snow is actively falling near the coast on Thursday afternoon. As of 1:50 p.m., snow is falling on Highway 6 near Fairview and on Highway 26 near Hamlet Road.