COLUMBUS, Ind. — While officials are hoping to have northbound Interstate 65 reopened between Taylorsville and Whiteland by early- to mid-afternoon today, there's still a possibility that the 20 mile stretch from Bartholomew to Johnson County might have to remain closed until Wednesday morning, according to Indiana Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Maginity. .
The northbound lanes were shut down early this morning after poor road conditions resulted in four jackknifed semis, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers.
While two overnight slide-offs occurred at both the 76 and 79 mile markers in Bartholomew County, Maginity said the real problem area is between Edinburgh and Whiteland.
"That stretch is just a sheet of ice right now, and they can’t get it off the asphalt right now," Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers said shortly before noon Tuesday. "If they can’t get it open this afternoon, they’re going to have to get all the traffic off the interstate. We’re not even sure we can do that now, so it’s closed indefinitely."
However, Maginity said the latest reports he's received from road crews indicates they are making progress in breaking up the ice.
"We had four trucks going over and over that area, plowing snow and treating the ice with a mixture of salt and magnesium chloride," Maginity said. "The sun is out, and that's helping. What would help us more is to get cars and trucks back on that stretch, because vehicular traffic helps the ice melt do its job.
The decision on whether or not to attempt to reopen will likely be jointly made early this afternoon by both ISP and INDOT, Maginity said.