12/14/10 Plow drivers in the Indiana Department of Transportation’s LaPorte District continue to work around the clock to clear the roads of blowing and drifting snow. About 150 drivers are on the roads in 12-hour shifts and will stay on the job until the snow stops and the roads are clear.
In addition to the snow plows, there are four front end loaders working to get hard hit areas cleared in LaPorte and Jasper counties. Here is the breakdown by area:
- Gary 34 plows
- LaPorte 33 plows, 1 loader on U.S. 6 between U.S. 35 and U.S. 421 and 1 loader near Wanatah on U.S. 30
- Plymouth 28 plows
- Rensselaer 22 plows, 1 loader on State Road 2 and 1 loader on State Road 14
- Winamac 23 plows
- Monticello 16 plows
Throughout northern Indiana, east-west roads are experiencing the most difficulty. As quickly as INDOT plows can get the roads open, the blowing and drifting snow make them impassable again. More than a dozen additional trucks are also being sent from the Indianapolis area and southern Indiana to help clear east west roads of blowing and drifting snow.
“We take our mission to keep the roads safe very seriously,” said INDOT LaPorte District Deputy Commissioner Mike McPhillips. “Our crews have been working around the clock since before the storm began and will continue to be on the roads until the snow stops and the roads are clear of snow.”
The hardest hit areas in the latest rounds of lake-effect snow are the east-west roads in LaPorte and Porter counties. As quickly as INDOT plows get the roads open, the blowing and drifting snow makes them impassable again. To help get the roads cleared, eighteen additional trucks and 31 additional drivers were sent to the LaPorte District from the Indianapolis area and southern Indiana.
As of Monday afternoon, progress was being made. The only roads that remain impassable due to heavy snow and blowing and drifting conditions are:
- S.R. 2 between U.S. 30 and U.S. 6
- S.R. 8 between Hebron (S.R. 2/U.S. 231) and Kouts (S.R. 49)
Interstate 94, which normally has 6 lanes of traffic in LaPorte and Porter counties, is down to two lanes in each direction and traffic is slow moving on I-80/94 from the I-65 interchange to the Illinois state lane.
“Our top priority remains keeping these east-west roads open and safe for drivers,” said INDOT LaPorte District Deputy Commissioner Mike McPhillips. “We will continue to do whatever it takes to make the roads safe.”
INDOT is still encouraging drivers in LaPorte, Porter and Newton counties to avoid traveling on the roads unless it is an emergency so plows can safely work to clear the highways. There are still occasional white-out conditions from the blowing snow in those areas.
Drivers can get updates on changing road conditions across the state by phone or computer. Drivers calling 800-261-ROAD (7623) will be informed about specific roads—good, fair of difficult. A website for updates is online at www.trafficwise.in.gov. This Trafficwise site includes National Weather Service watches and warnings.