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Long stretch of I-65 reopens, but travel still hazardous

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A large stretch of Interstate 65 in southern Indiana is open once again after it was shut down Tuesday because of hazardous road conditions and poor visibility.

The Indiana Department of Transportation and Indiana State Police closed I-65—both northbound and southbound lanes—between Exit 16 at Memphis and Exit 76 at Edinburgh/Taylorsville earlier Tuesday morning.

Several people, including State Police Troopers told Fox59 they could not remember such a long stretch of I-65 being closed down before this year.

Traffic at those exits was being diverted onto U.S. 31. The extra traffic on 31 turned into its own situation.

“A lot of slow moving cars,” said Columbus resident Ryan Sterling. “Real packed, a lot of semis.”

INDOT said ice, snow and a number of crashes along that section of I-65 necessitated the closure.

One crash, just south of the Jonesville exit, involved multiple vehicles. They included several semi trucks, included a double semi Fed Ex truck. Minor injuries were reported at the crash.

“We had one vehicle actually hit four different times by four different vehicles,” said Indiana State Police Trooper David Owsley. “We had a total of eleven vehicles involved. We had eight different crashes that occurred at this one little spot.”

That one spot was a series of short bridges which had become icy and dangerous.

Visibility was also extremely limited with whiteout conditions in some areas because of blowing and drifting snow. Bartholomew and Jackson counties along the I-65 route have travel watches (orange) in place, meaning only essential travel is allowed. Scott County instituted a travel warning prohibiting all but emergency travel.

Around 10:30 a.m., INDOT opened the northbound lanes. Shortly after that, INDOT opened the southbound lanes between Memphis and Seymour.

Around 1pm, the crash near Jonesville was cleared and the rest of I-65 was reopened in both directions, but continued to urge drivers to take it slow:

Around 1 p.m., INDOT said all lanes of I-65 had reopened:

FOX59’s Zach Myers is taking a look at the road conditions: