MONROE (WWJ/AP) – Days after a polar vortex sent metro Detroit into a deep freeze with about a foot of snow, icy roads are still causing problems for motorists.
Traffic tipsters calling the WWJ Newsroom reported several patches of black ice on nearly every local freeway Wednesday morning, with numerous spinout accidents. Major problem areas include freeway exit and entrance ramps as well as bridge underpasses, both of which have been described as “sheets of ice.”
Michigan State Police Lieutenant Mike Shaw said the roads look deceptively dry, but they’re actually very icy and slippery.
“The roads are still partially snow-covered and some of them have large layers of black ice. The reason for that is with the frigid temperatures that we have, our road commissions haven’t been able to put down any salt. So, as they continue to scrape the roads and get the snow off of it, what it leaves is a little layer of ice,” he said.
Icy roads are to blame for a semi-truck crash on I-75 near Nadeau Road, just north of Monroe which shut down part of the freeway for several hours Wednesday morning. Police say luckily, no one was injured. The road has since reopened.
The crash comes after authorities in Monroe County warned people to stay off the roads if possible through noon Wednesday. The advisory issued Tuesday morning asked people to stay off primary, secondary and side roads unless needed for work or emergencies.
Crews spent most of the day Tuesday removing snow and stuck vehicles. Winds made the problem worse, sending snow onto roads that had been cleared.
Michigan Department of Transportation Spokesperson Diane Cross said crews are now using a mixture of sand and salt to help drivers gain traction on the ice.
“We really are in desperate times. We have to let traffic be able to travel along these roadways,” she said. “So, county crews are using a sand-salt mixture to try to give it some traction on those ramps to keep vehicles from spinning out or from getting stuck.”
The arctic blast was easing its grip on Michigan, but bitterly cold temperatures are expected throughout Wednesday in the state. The bone-chilling cold has forced nearly all public school districts in metro Detroit to cancel classes for the third day in a row.
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