Lake Shore Drive Closed, Many Drivers Stranded
But, if you have to drive, here are some important driving news you need to know.
Northbound Lake Shore Drive Closed
UPDATE 11 PM: OEMC said in a press statement, “Both directions of Lake Shore Drive are temporarily closed due to traffic conditions and multiple accidents. Traffic is being cleared in both directions. Streets and Sanitation crews will take this opportunity to plow and clear the surface. The goal is to potentially reopen the drive later this evening.”
Many motorists are still stuck on LSD and Chicago Fire Department crews on snowmobiles are checking on drivers still with their vehicles. OEMC is telling stranded drivers to stay with their cars and await assistance.
OEMC is also reporting Higgins Road is shut down west of Patton Drive.
Other roads in the greater Chicagoland area are closed due to weather conditions. Check with local news radio stations for the full list of closures.
9 PM: Most of the expressways are free from traffic, northbound Lake Shore Drive is essentially a parking lot.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting city official shut down northbound LSD at approximately 7:50 PM after a CTA bus spun out at Belmont Ave., and ended up blocking three of four lanes. Drivers stuck on Lake Shore Drive are reporting three to four hours stuck in traffic.
City officials hope to re-open the drive sometime later tonight.
Illinois State Police reporting I-80 is virtually impassable due to near white out conditions between Morris and Ottawa.
National Guard Troops Helping Stranded Motorists
Illinois Governor Quinn has called in 500 Illinois National Guard troops to help stranded motorists along several interstate highways.
The troops will be stationed at rest areas along Illinois highways, including I-70 and highways north of I-70, and deployed by Illinois State Police. Troops expect to be on duty for three to four days to deal with the aftermath of the blizzard.
“We must do everything we can to keep motorists safe during this massive winter storm. Illinois Department of Transportation crews are working non-stop to clear roadways, and the Illinois State Police will also be closely monitoring or highways,” said Governor Quinn via press release. “These troops from the Illinois National Guard will help ensure public safety along the roadways, and I urge everyone to exercise caution when traveling.”
If you are stranded on an Illinois highway, call 911 or the Illinois State Police at 1-800-648-4155.
Road Condition Updates
To obtain information on interstate road conditions statewide, call the IDOT hotline at (800) 452-4368.
For information on Illinois toll roads motorists should call the Illinois Toll Authority at (800) 865-5394.