As of 10 a.m. today, the Indiana Department of Transportation was warning
motorists of the continuing dangers of travel, even as I-65 between U.S.
Highway 30 in Merrillville and Lafayette was re-opened to traffic.
Although most roads were now open--“after a long night by INDOT plow crews
battling drifting snow”--extremely icy conditions were persisting on all
roads due to the subzero temperatures.
“Hard-pack snow and ice should be expected on all Northwest Indiana roads,
including I-65 and I-94, causing dangerously icy conditions,” the ISP said
at 10 a.m. today. “In these subzero temperatures, road salt is not as
effective on icy roadways. INDOT is using other methods to melt ice and gain
traction on road surfaces, such as chemical anti-icing agents and abrasives,
but the frigid weather is hindering these efforts as well. Dangerously icy
conditions will not likely improve across Northwest Indiana until
Compounding the problem was the wear and tear on INDOT’s fleet. “Extremely
cold temperatures are also causing numerous mechanical failures for INDOT
plows and heavy machinery,” INDOT said. “INDOT mechanics are working long
hours, like plow drivers, to get these vehicles back on the roads as soon as
possible. But constant equipment failure due to frigid temperatures is
slowing the process of clearing Northwest Indiana roads.”
For the record, between midnight Sunday and Monday morning, the Indiana
State Police responded to 220 calls, consisting of slide-offs,
property-damage and personal-injury crashes, and motorist assists.
Extreme cold-weather driving tips from INDOT:
*Don’t travel. INDOT is asking the public to refrain from any
non-emergency travel through Wednesday. All counties in Northwest Indiana
remain under a “Watch” or “Warning” status, limiting travel to essential or
emergency purposes, respectively. To see an updated map of county travel
advisories provided by each county’s emergency management agency, visit