Roads in NW Indiana Worse Than Here

Friday, Dec 26, 2008  |  Updated 2:03 PM CDT
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Snow Days!

AP

Streets and highways in Indiana are a mess. And Chicagoans thought they had it bad.

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Lake County has had salt trucks out since 5 a.m., though their efforts were hampered by drivers not being able to get to work, with some commutes taking as long as four hours, and sliding their trucks off the road once they did make it out.

Lake County Highway Supervisor Marcus Malczewski reported that three of their salt trucks went off the road, with one tipping on its side.

“It’s broken up a few mirrors, but they’re back on the road,” he said.

He expects the roads to clear by noon when higher temperatures melt the ice.

Roads in Porter County were covered in black ice Friday morning after freezing rain hit overnight. That continues to cause problems for hundreds of drivers.

Police are having trouble getting salt trucks out and urge people to stay home until the ice has melted

“The problem is, the roads are starting to melt a little bit, but we have a lot of slideoffs and jackknifed semis,” said Porter County Police Lt. Chris Eckert. “It’s dozens and dozens of slideoffs and damage to property. Vehicles sliding into each other and off the roads.”

At 11 a.m., Porter County Police was still “dozens of calls” behind, Eckert said.

Most of the accidents only lead to minor injuries because people were driving at slow speeds.

"The speeds weren’t fast enough. It’s bumps, bruises so far. They can’t get up to enough speed to get into a real bad accidents. A lot of slideoffs,” Eckert said. “Until the temperatures warm up, we’re advising people to stay home.”

Porter County Police has had trouble getting salt trucks out because the drivers are unable to get to work due to bad road conditions.

“We can’t get snow plows out with salt because they (drivers) can’t get from their home to the state highways,” Eckert said. “That’s the problem.”

He warned that people who call the police this morning could have to wait “an extended amount of time” before they get help.

Drivers who only need pull-out help from a tow truck company and not police assistance are still advised to call the sheriff’s department at 219-477-3000 to let police know where they are.

Also this morning, the Indiana Toll Road was severely restricted due to several accidents and icy conditions. At two spots, mile marker 4.5 eastbound in Hammond and mile marker 22 westbound in Portage, traffic was reduced to just the passing lanes. The rest of the Interstate remains clear for traffic.

Toll road authorities say the sour road conditions will lessen throughout the morning as rising temperatures and road salt melt the ice.

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