State Closes I-65, Opens I-94
January 6, 2104 by Jerry Howard
The Indiana Department of Transportation is blocking Interstate 65 from traffic in Northwest Indiana, as it advises drivers to stay off the all interstates, U.S. highways, and state routes.
Indiana State Police have blocked entrance ramps to I-65, leaving some approaching roadways serving as parking lanes for traffic waiting for the highway to reopen.
INDOT closed I-65 for 81 miles, northbound and southbound, between U.S. 30 in Merrillville and Lafayette tonight. It’s the second closure for that section of I-65. INDOT closed the highway yesterday evening, opening it briefly this afternoon before drivers failed to navigate the limited capacity of the roadway due to deteriorating weather conditions that created white-out conditions and dangerous snow drifts.
The department also reopened I-94 to traffic this afternoon, and INDOT says it remains open.
INDOT says, “Blowing and drifting snow has intensified in these evening hours and slick, icy conditions persist on nearly all roadways. Some are impassable this evening, and drifting conditions are expected to worsen overnight. As a result, all roads should be considered extremely slick and hazardous. INDOT discourages anyone from driving in non-emergency situations.”
It says crews are working to remove hard-pack snow and ice which make extremely slick roads, especially in subzero temperatures when road salt is not as effective. INDOT says it is using other methods to melt ice to provide traction on road surfaces, such as chemical anti-icing agents and sand, thought frigid weather is hindering these efforts, too.
INDOT says it crews face the same challenges as Region drivers, such as below-zero temperature effects on vehicles, repairs in the midst of transit, roads drifting shut soon after they are cleared by plows, and stranded vehicles left on some roadways that make clearing the road nearly impossible.
INDOT offers drivers information about 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.