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Icy roads create tricky travel

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:53:29 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 28 2013 06:55:25 AM CST

MADISON, Wis. -

Street crews have been working throughout the night trying to get roads ready for the morning commute.

But some roads are better than others.

The streets division says the freezing drizzle and rain overnight left all streets with a coating of thin ice. Crews have been out salting main arterials, connector streets, bus routes and streets around hospitals.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, officials say the main arterials are in good winter driving condition.

Second streets on the city's salt routes have also been salted. However, residential streets where salt has not been applied are icy and slippery.

Crews have begun sanding operations on residential streets. They will sand hills, curves and intersections in order to give traction on icy spots.

About a half-dozen crashes with minor injuries happened in Dane County, with more serious incidents happening throughout southern Wisconsin.

Deputies said it took a lot of time to respond to each report, leading to longer response times.

"We are busier than normal," Dane County Deputy Brad Duffrin said. "Motorists need to be aware that it is going to take us more time to respond to them because there are so many calls and so few of us out there."

Duffrin said most crashes happened on rural roads, which salt trucks weren't giving as much attention Sunday, or on highway on- and off-ramps.

Icy conditions slowed drivers down on Interstate 90/94 near the Wisconsin Dells, leading to a long commute for Jessica Niedermayer.

It took the Milwaukee woman five hours to get from her brother's house in Minneapolis to the rest stop near Poynette.

"I've lost about an hour and a half, so it's taken me a really long time," she said, scraping ice from her vehicle's headlights. "I've seen at least a dozen cars in the ditch with their flashers on."

Officials warned drivers that, even though the precipitation turned to rain Sunday afternoon, it could still freeze on cold roads.

The City of Madison had 36 salt and plow crews on the roads Sunday and they will continue until the streets are no longer slippery, streets superintendent Chris Kelley said in a statement.

A winter storm warning was in effect until midnight Sunday for Grant, Crawford, Richland, Vernon, Juneau, and Adams counties.

A winter weather advisory was in effect until midnight Sunday for Iowa, Dane, Lafayette, Green, Rock, Jefferson, and Walworth counties.

And a winter weather advisory was in effect until 3 a.m. Monday for Dodge, Marquette, Green Lake, Sauk, and Columbia counties.

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