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Winter storm moves out of Illinois, snow removal and cleanup, slick conditions continue

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation announced this afternoon that while a major winter storm has moved on and snow is no longer falling, removal and cleanup efforts will continue for the next few days. The public is urged to stay on the alert, watch for plows and emergency vehicles, slow down and expect blowing and drifting snow, combined with falling temperatures, potentially creating scattered slick spots.

"I would like to thank the public for their cooperation these last several days in limiting unnecessary travel, a decision that likely saved many lives. But there is still work to do that requires your continued patience," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "Please slow down and anticipate longer travel times. Stay alert and move over for our plows and law enforcement. We always monitor the latest conditions, but watch for slippery areas, especially at night and in locations prone to icing." 

Since Tuesday, many parts of Illinois have seen more than a foot of snow, with up to 8 inches and significant ice accumulation south of Interstate 70.

Snow-and-ice removal will continue on interstates and state routes, with cleanup efforts lasting into the weekend, focusing on areas such as shoulders, ramps, bridges, turning lanes and intersections. Blowing and drifting snow is expected to persist, with subzero temperatures overnight limiting the effectiveness of salt and other materials to treat roads. Intersections, ramps, elevated structures and shaded areas all are susceptible to icing.

If you encounter a plow or any maintenance or police vehicle during your travels, please slow down, increase your driving distance and remain patient. Do not crowd the plow - the restricted field of vision might mean you can see the driver, but the driver cannot see you. 

"As the potential for hazardous winter weather continues in Illinois, our Illinois State Police troopers work diligently alongside IDOT and other agencies to keep our citizens safe," said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. "These brave men and women are risking their lives on the side of the road. We are asking for everyone to do their part: Stay vigilant, move over and slow down for any vehicle on the side of the road."

Gov. JB Pritzker this week issued a disaster declaration and activated approximately 130 members of the Illinois National Guard to ensure all state resources were available to deal with the extreme weather and help stranded motorists as part of a robust, statewide response among multiple state agencies. Throughout the week, IDOT has deployed an estimated 1,800 trucks and equipment to plow, treat roads and respond to emergencies.

Continue to visit for regular updates on road conditions statewide. You also can follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.