Friday, March 6, 2015

Mishaps still plaguing interstates

The last of a series of stalled tractor-trailers on Interstate 65 in Hart Count were removed overnight, but efforts to keep the roadway open through the snow have been complicated by recurring mishaps and new blockages.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KyTC) crews in most highway districts worked late into Thursday night or through the night to keep major state routes passable through some record snowfalls made worse by record low temperatures.

“Our road crews have been working in very difficult circumstances, contending not only with extreme weather but also with repeated highway crashes that lead to new traffic backups,” KyTC Secretary Mike Hancock said.

Interstates 65 and 24 were especially problematic Thursday, and those problems have continued today. At this hour, two tractor-trailers are stuck on the ramp of I-24 Exit 86 – the exit to U.S. 41A, south of Hopkinsville.

On I-65 south of Elizabethtown, stranded tractor-trailers that blocked the roadway in Hart County on Wednesday were finally cleared, but new incidents blocked the interstate in other locations overnight.

A northbound truck crashed near Exit 65 at Munfordville but was eventually removed. A crash on the southbound side, just south of the interchange, had traffic blocked in the left lane and backed up for nine miles before being cleared this morning. In that mishap, a tractor-trailer jumped a barrier wall.

Motorists who travel today should slow down. The rash of crashes overnight underscore the importance of adjusting one’s speed to road surface conditions.

With temperatures below zero across the Commonwealth, the focus will be on plowing with limited chemical treatment until there is some warming.