INDOT, DPW prepare for freezing rain over the weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Crews with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and the Indiana Department of Transportation are out on central Indiana roads preparing for this weekend's winter weather event.

Most of the Indiana is under a Freezing Rain Advisory that starts Friday evening and lasts through Sunday morning.

"Freezing rain is the most dangerous weather to be driving in," INDOT Spokesperson Nathan Riggs said. "There's not really a safe vehicle to be driving in those conditions."

INDOT has had crews out pre-treating roads since Thursday. Starting Friday afternoon in the Indianapolis area, the agency will have about 60 drivers out on the roads for 12 hours shifts until the threat of freezing rain is gone.

“This weather is following a boundary of 32 degrees—so one degree difference can be the difference between getting rain and getting snow and that boundary is going to be moving throughout the weekend," Riggs said. "(Drivers will be) basically running the routes until the precipitation moves out and temperatures come up.”

Riggs the Interstates around Indianapolis should be in much better shape than they were about a month ago on a Friday night when icy roads caused hundreds of crashes.

“The freezing rain we had a couple of weeks ago is different than what we have now," Riggs said. "There we were coming out of a very deep freeze the ground was really cold. Here we just had a 60 degree day yesterday so the ground temperatures are going to help us out.”

DPW crews started salting roads Friday morning with 40 drivers and will increase the number of plow drivers to 80 starting Friday night.

Spokesperson Betsy Whitmore said the agency will monitor road conditions throughout the weekend and try to stay ahead of an incoming weather.

"Once we know pavement temperatures are going to drop to that freezing level we have to make sure any precipitation that drops doesn’t hit and freeze so it’s a vigilant effort," Whitmore said.

Both agencies are asking drivers to stay home, unless you absolutely have to get out on the roads this weekend and if you do, drive with caution.

"Obviously people have to get out and do things we understand that," Riggs said. "But if you can plan the optional trips around the freezing rain, it’s the safest thing to do."

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