FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance supervisors are closely monitoring the track of a clipper system that will move across northern Indiana on Sunday. The National Weather Service predicts that the winter storm could drop up to 5 inches of accumulating snow, with varying levels of snow affecting other portions of Northern and Central Indiana.
In areas where the storm is predicted to lead off with rain, INDOT crews must pre-treat roads and bridges just before pavement temperatures fall below freezing and snow and ice begin to accumulate.
INDOT will adjust its call-out of manpower, trucks and materials as appropriate to address changes in forecasted and observed road conditions. Trained INDOT employees are on call to staff yellow plow trucks around the clock with alternating shifts of 12 hours or more.
For updates during the storm, find the INDOT Facebook and Twitter pages for your regional district at www.in.gov/indot/3074.htm.
Conditions worst during storm
INDOT’s plow routes take 2-3 hours to complete with salt assisting in melting between passes. INDOT urges drivers to reschedule optional trips as road conditions will be the worst during and shortly after the storm. If you must venture out on Sunday, drivers should follow these tips:
- Before you depart, fully clear off your front and rear windshields and side mirrors.
- Know before you go by checking the red-yellow-green traffic speeds on your mobile map app or INDOT’s TrafficWise service at http://indot.carsprogram.org, 800-261-ROAD or 511 on your mobile phone.
- Choose direct routes instead of longer routes on higher-speed arterials.
- Take your foot off the gas and slow down gradually, especially on high-speed highways. No one should be traveling at interstate speeds during these conditions.
- Increase following distance between the vehicle in front of you.
- Turn off cruise control.
- Apply anti-lock brakes firmly. Pump brakes that are not anti-lock. Do not overcorrect with steering.
- Turn on emergency flashers if you are stopped or traveling slower than other vehicles.
- Try to exit or turn off the main highway when stopping. If you must stop on the shoulders, pull as far away from the travel lanes as possible.
New plow equipment
Drivers should watch for six new tow plows in use on multi-lane interstates, U.S. highways and state roads. Already used in northeast Indiana and 22 other states, a tow plow allows one plow truck and driver to clear two lanes at once.
INDOT plans to use the six new tow plows on the four-lane state highways listed below. The equipment may be redeployed to other parts of the state as needed this winter.
Interstate 469 and U.S. 24 northeast of Fort Wayne
U.S. 24 and State Road 25 Hoosier Heartland near Logansport
The new U.S. 31 freeway near Kokomo
U.S. 52 between Lafayette and Lebanon
Interstate 74 between Indianapolis and Greensburg (2)
Drivers should not attempt to pass a tow plow if all lanes are blocked, but stay a safe distance and speed behind the plows. Road conditions are always better behind a plow at work than in front.