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Snow and ice complicate first commute of the New Year

Updated: 2014-01-02T13:57:32Z

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON

The Kansas City Star

The first commute of the New Year got off to an icy, snowy start Thursday morning, with numerous crashes across the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Road crews worked overnight to clear the snow and treat major routes with salt.

“We are mostly clear on the major routes and major highways,” said Steve Porter, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Rural routes, however, were partly covered, particularly in the far eastern areas, he said.

“The difficulty of so little snow is there is not much there to plow,” he said. “And once we get the salt down, it’s not as effective in from 20 degrees into the single digits, which is where we are now.”

The colder it gets, the less effective salt will be. But traffic grinds the salt in and prevents moisture from bonding to the pavement. With cold temperatures, drivers should watch out for refreezing and black ice in some areas, especially on ramps and bridges.

“Slow down,” Porter said. “Just because you have miles of seemingly good dry pavement, you can encounter a spot or two and conditions can go bad very quickly.”

Porter said that as of shortly before 8 a.m., the Missouri side of the metropolitan area wasn’t seeing as many slide-offs as normally occurs following a snow storm.

“It’s unusually calm as far as slide-offs go,” he said.

Still, crashes were being reported across the Kansas City metropolitan area. According to Kansas City Scout, crashes occurred along:

• Eastbound Interstate 70 past Manchester Avenue in Kansas City.

• The ramp from southbound Interstate 35 to Antioch Road.

• Westbound Kansas 10 at Renner Road.

• Southbound Intestate 635 past Missouri 9.

• Eastbound Interstate 435 past Antioch Road.

• Ramp from eastbound Intestate 435 to southbound U.S. 69/College Boulevard.

• Southbound U.S. 71 past 29th Street.

• Southbound Interstate 35 at Lone Elm Road.

• Westbound Interstate 70 before Prospect Avenue.

• Westbound Interstate 70 at I-435.

• Northbound Interstate 49 Past Red Bridge Road.

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to bcronklton@kcstar.com.

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