Snow complicates already hectic rush hour traffic

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 4, 2015) – A full call out of drivers dropping salt and brine isn’t new for winter road crews city or state wide.

But snow that falls during rush hour, they say, complicates an already dangerous situation.

“That’s really a scenario that we don’t like to encounter,” said Nathan Riggs with INDOT. “We have crashes on regular days in Indianapolis that tie up traffic, so just throw in the wintry mix, the winter weather in there, it’s never a good situation.”

INDOT says its crews can’t pretreat with salt because, at interstate speeds, salt will blow off the road.

If a wintry mix falls, any brine on the road could get diluted.

Riggs says a full call out, about 300 drivers across central Indiana, will drop salt once snow starts and before temperatures drop below freezing.

On Indianapolis city streets, the Department of Public Works activated its full force of 90 drivers at 11 a.m. Wednesday to start treating city streets with salt. Slower speeds in town means salt does stay on the roads.

“They’ll be continuing to salt to keep any moisture that’s on the road from refreezing and then just continuing to do cleanup from the afternoon snowfall, making sure that the roads are nice and clear for the Thursday morning drive into work,” Scott Manning with DPW said.

Both agencies stressed to drivers to take your time now, tonight and throughout the morning hours when temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.

“It just takes a few crashes during rush hour to tie up our trucks where they’re not treating routes, they’re stuck in traffic,” Riggs said. “So we want to make sure that we have plenty of resources out there to keep the highways as safe as possible.”

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