BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Louisiana DOTD is working to clear I-220 of ice and packed snow built up over the past week.
The DOTD is using road graders to scrape thick frozen layers from the surface of the roadway. The process is expected to take a while, as crews have nearly 18 miles in each direction to clear and the district only has two pieces of the heavy machinery.
Plus, things might be warming up a bit for a few hours Friday, but the area has one more night of record lows ahead before the cold snap ends. The temporary warm-up is turning the top layers of ice and slow into slush, but it’s all expected to freeze over again when temperatures plummet Friday night. Freezing fog could add another layer of glaze to treacherous road conditions.
I-220 has been shut down since Saturday, along with 50 miles-worth of I-49 from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line.
I-20 was never shut down completely, but there have been numerous temporary closures and backups along the route as ramps iced up too much to navigate and vehicles spun out and stalled, sometimes left disabled in the lane of traffic.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a briefing Thursday that the Louisiana National Guard was bringing in wreckers and is working with the Louisiana Department of Transportation to remove a number of 18-wheelers that either stalled or jackknifed in this way along I-20 near the Texas line.
The situation prompted a warning from TX DOT for drivers heading east into Louisiana to avoid the interstate and look for alternate routes.
As of early Friday afternoon, the DOTD said traffic in that area of I-20E was down to one lane and slow going.