Road crews patrolling, salting area roadways Tuesday night

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Salt truck drivers around Indianapolis patrolled routes and salted potential slick spots Tuesday afternoon, with those efforts expected to continue into the night.

Temperatures are expected to stay well below freezing Tuesday night, into Wednesday morning.

Indiana Department of Transportation spokesperson Scott Manning said the department had 30 salt truck drivers activated around the metro area.

“We expect to have folks out until the snow finally stops, and even after that,” he said.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works has 40 salt truck drivers on duty patrolling routes around the city.

“Drivers are salting pavement and monitoring road conditions as weather conditions change,” a statement from DPW said. “With temperatures forecasted below freezing tonight, crews will continue treating roads throughout the night, addressing bridge decks, overpasses and major thoroughfares to prevent hazardous road conditions.”

Even though small amounts of snow fell Tuesday, ice and refreezing are concerns going into the night hours.

“The pavement is so cold, below 29 degrees, so a soon as it hits the pavement it freezes, which causes hazards,” said Eric Rippy, INDOT 71st Street Unit Foreman.

“The toughest for me is the ice,” Rippy said. “It’s not necessarily the snow. The ice is so dangerous, when it comes, it comes fast.”

The efforts come after icy conditions lead to more than 180 crashes around Indianapolis Monday, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

“If we see anything wet when it’s close to freezing, or glistening pavement, we want to get material on that,” Rippy said.

Rippy and others are asking commuters to use extra caution when they come upon a salt truck on patrol. Salt truck drivers can only travel between 30 and 35 miles per hour when dropping salt on a roadway.

“Just give us some room to work,” Rippy said. “We’ll get it done as quickly as possible and restore the roads to safety.”