Low temperatures leaving slick roads

Although some of the snow and ice has melted from the winter blast Michiana residents received Monday, the low temperatures have been making things difficult for crews trying to clear the roads of snow.

Even major thoroughfares experienced problems where snow was hard-packed, causing slippery driving conditions.

State and city crews have been working hard to make roadways safe, each using different strategies.

City crews, such as those in Mishawaka, prioritize routes with higher traffic.

"The streets are broken down by snow routes secondary arteries and then residential subdivisions cul-de-sacs and dead ends, and that's the order we plow," said Tim Ryan, assistant street commissioner for the city of Mishawaka. "We don't progress, until we're satisfied with what we've done so far."

State route crews travel in a continuous loop, often passing over a roadway six times during a 12-hour shift.

"One guy gets one route and he continuously does that route for his 12-hour shift. That typically takes about 2-3 hours to do just one circulation of the route," said INDOT spokesperson Matt Deitchley.

The issue both city and state crews are running into is that the low temperatures are making the salt they are using less effective. That plus continuous snow leading to accumulation was causing layers of snow and ice on the roadways in high traffic areas.

Crews say in cases where salt is less effective, they turn to chemical agents to try to melt the snow.

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