Central Indiana crews monitoring roads overnight following icy accidents

A DPW plow truck loads up with salt to treat local roadways. (CBS4 file photo)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— Following wintry weather Monday across central Indiana, crews are keeping an eye on dropping temperatures ahead of the morning commute.

DPW sent about a dozen drivers out early Monday evening and expected 39 salt trucks to be out by 11 p.m. It also had forestry crews on standby.

“It’s forecasted that temperatures are going to drop below freezing so we’re going to have crews out addressing roadways to really monitor for that refreeze that could happen tonight with all the rain and precipitation that we’ve gotten today,” Charnay Pickett, a spokesperson for DPW, said.

The evening commute Monday, however, proved slick.

First responders had to close ramps and bridges across the area, including in Johnson and Hamilton Counties following crashes. In Avon, police closed Ronald Reagan Parkway Bridge after an eight car accident caused in part by ice. IMPD reported it responded to more than 140 accidents.

IFD responded when two cars hit a patch of black ice and slid into a pond. Thankfully everyone got out of the vehicles okay.

“We expect the precipitation to taper off as we go later into the evening but the concerns that we’re watching for are some of the gusty wind conditions and falling temperatures. Most of the bridge decks in the area, temperatures are right around freezing but we expect those to go lower as those air temperatures drop. So we want to continue to keep those bridges salted so that we can cut down on slick spots and cut down on instances of black ice,” INDOT spokesman Scott Manning said.

INDOT said it had 30 drivers in Indianapolis and 70 across the East Central district out since noon looking at bridge decks, salting some bridges twice.

It planned to keep 30 trucks patrolling and salting as needed in Indianapolis through midnight. It said it would keep about a dozen trucks to patrol and salt through 7 a.m.

Fishers said it had crews out during the evening to assess conditions and new crews coming in at midnight to assess and salt as needed. Westfield had some trucks out salting bridges and hills and planned to watch them overnight, hearing some reports they were slick.

Drivers are reminded to heed safety warnings, too.

That includes leaving around three vehicle lengths between a driver and salt truck, leaving extra space between vehicles, allowing extra time for travel, making sure there’s a stocked emergency kit in the vehicle and that vehicles, and their brakes and tires, are maintained.

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