The Indiana Department of Transportation says deteriorating weather conditions has forced another emergency closure of a stretch of Interstate 65. INDOT says Interstate 94, which was closed Sunday night, will remain open.
January 6, 2014
NORTHWEST INDIANA – As of 5:30 a.m. Central Time/6:35 a.m. Eastern time INDOT continues to discourage anyone from non-essential travel in Northwest Indiana. Conditions remain extremely icy on passable roads, while others are becoming impassable from drifting snow.
Currently, I-65 is closed, both northbound and southbound, between U.S. 30 (Merrillville) and Lafayette due to reduced visibility, additional snowfall, and icy conditions. Crews have been plowing the roadway and using all methods possible to gain traction overnight, but subzero temperatures are making the task extremely difficult. There is no timeframe for reopening I-65. I-94 is open this morning, but drivers are warned to expect icy conditions throughout.
Blowing and drifting snow intensified during overnight hours, especially in Newton, Jasper, and southern Lake Counties. Some roadways are impassable, or have narrow lanes, due to the drifting snow.
As stated in previous releases, road salt is less effective in these subzero temperatures. INDOT is using other methods to melt ice and gain traction on road surfaces, such as chemical anti-icing agents and sand, but the frigid weather is hindering these efforts as well. As a result, all roads should be considered extremely slick and hazardous.
Extremely cold temperatures are also causing numerous mechanical failures for INDOT plows and heavy machinery. 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.
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.
Source: Indiana Department of Transportation