Morning commute tough for many drivers

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INDIANAPOLIS – Crews with the Indiana Department of Transportation continue to work 12 hour shifts to clear our highways after it snowed.

INDOT called all of their crews into work late last night. They have 170 trucks covering the east central district. Sixty-eight of those trucks cleared highways in Indianapolis. INDOT takes care of our interstates, highways, and state roads. Normally, it takes them an hour or as much as 3 hours to clear their routes.

“For about 5 or 6 hours this morning, beginning very early this morning (during) rush hour, we saw snow accumulations about an inch an hour. (It was) just a little bit less than that, but at that rate it’s very difficult for our truck drivers,” Nathan Riggs with INDOT said.

Some people expressed their frustration about the morning commute. It took Andrew Ault 30 to 45 minutes extra to drive to work, which is located downtown. Ault drove on 65 and 465.

“They (the highways) were awful. (They were) just very dangerous….slipping and sliding,” Ault said.

City Councillor at Large Zach Adamson said he heard people complaining about the commute too.

“I’ve been talking to people from all over central Indiana, who’ve been coming in to downtown this morning, (and they) said INDOT and DPW roads have had major issues. It could be that this is just an extraordinary difficult situation or proper planning may have been lacking in this area. So, I’m not really sure (what it was),” Adamson said.

Adamson posted some comments on social media sites about this. On his Twitter page he wrote: “Looks like both INDOT and city dropped the ball today. Interstates and local roads are in terrible shape. Be careful out there”.

Adamson said his comments were not political. Adamson said he is more familiar with DPW’s operations.

“I know they have the ability to do to maintain these roads in acceptable standard,” Adamson said.

Meanwhile INDOT, plans to have their crews work around the clock and rotate until it is not needed anymore. Riggs said everything depends on the weather.

Riggs said this morning’s commute may have been tricky because everything happened at the same time. It snowed fast. It happened during the morning rush hour. People were sliding, crashing and there was traffic.

“It might appear to motorists that it hasn’t been plowed, but in fact it’s just being (covered again). So our truck drivers are busy running their routes in circles to keep those highways as safe as possible,” Riggs said.

On Thursday, INDOT had a total of 740 trucks clearing highways, interstates and state roads -statewide. INDOT will continue monitoring the situation and make adjustments as needed.

“When it’s snowing that hard, motorists need to be aware that they could encounter accumulations on the roadways,” Riggs said.

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