Tricky storm keeps road crews on their toes

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Weather conditions caused headaches for road crews Wednesday.

It all started Tuesday night when the weather system brought in rain, preventing INDOT crews from salting and preparing the roads for the morning commute.

“It wouldn’t have been worthwhile to pre-treat the roads last night around 8 p.m. It just down poured and pavement temperatures were above freezing at that time,” said Nathan Riggs, INDOT Spokesman.

As the winter weather pushed farther into Central Indiana, road crews started seeing what they had to deal with.  Back-up drivers were called in and crews took to the streets, according to Riggs.

“Based on the forecast, we had about six drivers out during the overnight hours.  Temperatures dropped a little lower than were forecasted, but we were able to ramp up and get about 30 snow trucks out there by about 6 ‘clock this morning,”  said Steve Hardiman, Indy Snow Force Spokesman.

Just like the road crews, drivers must adapt to changing weather conditions as well, according to police.

Andrea Pierson was driving Wednesday morning and made it safely to the City-County Building, but she said the weather was bad and visibility was poor.

Her best advice for driving in the  wintery conditions is to “definitely pay attention to others.”

The dangerously slick roads played a factor in several slide-offs and fender benders along with one deadly crash along Interstate 74 in Hendricks County.  David Tarpy, 28, and Brad Morrison, 30, both lost their lives when their car slid into a parked semi trailer.

Road crews can’t prepare enough when it comes to unforeseeable weather like Central Indiana witnessed early Wednesday morning and throughout the day, according to Riggs.

“A lot of what we do is reactionary. We try to be proactive and getting as far ahead of it as we can, but sometimes – especially when the snow squalls come in, pop up, dump – there’s not a whole lot we can do to predict that or to preclude that,” he said.

Extra crews worked though the Wednesday evening rush hour.  INDOT’s evening crews also came in early for their shift.