Overnight Freezing Could Jeopardize Commutes
January 7, 2014 by Jerry Howard & Kristyn Estes
Though Indiana’s Department of Transportation says it has made progress plowing snow-covered roads in Northwest Indiana, extremely hazardous icy conditions remain, and conditions may worsen overnight.
The Indiana Department of Transportation has been working almost non-stop since even before a winter storm arrived last weekend. INDOT’s Northwest District Communication Director Matt Deitchley talked with Lakeshore’s Kristyn Estes about INDOT efforts to clear roads while battling snow, wind and subzero temperatures.
He says INDOT crews have been successful clearing snow that forced traffic onto narrow driving lanes, due to blowing and drifting. He says many roads that had narrowed traffic to one lane by heavy snow are now cleared to two lanes, with a majority of roads now passable across Northwest Indiana.
Deitchley reminds that road salt is less effective in these subzero temperatures, and thin sheet ice should be expected on all roads across Northwest Indiana, which could get worse overnight when any thawing and melting, that had occurred during the day, refreezes. “These icy conditions likely won’t improve until later in the day tomorrow, when temperatures are expected to become more favorable for chemical melting agents and plows.”
INDOT wants the public to avoid non-emergency travel through tomorrow.
Deitchley asks travelers to prepare for these road conditions and to adjust driving behaviors in order to arrive at destinations safely, notably using slower travel and longer following distances.
Drivers in Northwest Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts at any time via the District’s social media channels:www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest or Twitter @INDOTNorthwest. Or visit http://www.trafficwise.in.gov for INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service.