Yesterday (January 5, 2015) the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a press release titled “Governor Quinn Directs State Agencies to Combat Severe Winter Weather.” The release discusses various aspects of the cold weather, snow, and resulting possible adverse road conditions throughout Illinois.
A couple of excerpts:
The Governor also directed the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to ready more than 1,768 trucks and more than 3,700 employees in preparation of the anticipated snowfall overnight. The statewide fleet will help remove anticipated snow and ice on 1,245 state routes that will create hazardous driving conditions over next few days. Motorists are advised to be on alert for slick roadways and to take extra precautions when traveling.
“The Illinois Department of Transportation is fully prepared to respond to the winter weather heading our way,” Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Erica Borggren said. “While our top priority always is to make sure our roadways are safe as possible, we also ask the motoring public to pay close attention to the changing conditions. Please be prepared to reduce your speed and build some extra time into your schedules. During storms or when temperatures are extremely low, travel is not advised unless absolutely necessary.”
National Weather Service forecasters are predicting one to seven inches of snow will fall across the northern half of Illinois starting tonight and into Tuesday morning. Bitterly cold air with wind chills approaching 30 below are forecasted across the entire state through Thursday, significantly reducing the ability of salt to melt snow and ice, particularly during the overnight hours. Throughout the day today, IDOT has been pretreating bridge decks and elevated driving surfaces that are susceptible to icing.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) are warning motorists to plan accordingly and make safety a priority by driving at a safe speed, allowing plenty of distance from other vehicles to safely maneuver, ensuring vehicle lights are functioning properly, watching for snow removal equipment and exiting the road to a safe location if driving conditions become too hazardous.
“Motorists should take every safety precaution while driving during extreme weather conditions, so that they arrive and depart to and from their destinations safely,” ISP Director Hiram Grau said. “Reducing speed, avoiding distractions and paying attention to emergency vehicles—especially when roads and interstates are icy and visibility is reduced—will make driving conditions safer.”
The above-mentioned press release also says that Illinois motorists can check the latest road conditions and road closure information at www.gettingaroundillinois.com.
In addition to the above warnings, given the cold temperatures, anticipated high winds, and recent snowfall, ice and/or “black ice” conditions might also be present. “Black ice” conditions have been the cause of many car accidents, and this issue has been discussed on previous posts, including that of January 6, 2014 titled “Black Ice Hazard On Roadways.”