Slip and Slide: City Says Black Ice Won't Go Away Quickly

ROCKFORD -- The bitter cold has created a lot of problems for drivers, but none quite so sneaky as black ice.
ROCKFORD -- The bitter cold has created a lot of problems for drivers, but none quite so sneaky as black ice. But the City of Rockford warns, don't expect those slick spots to go away any time soon.

Flipping your car is not the best way to start the day. But that's what happened to one driver Tuesday morning  on the Harrison bridge between 20th and Ohio Parkway. The accident required extrication, and then a trip to the hospital. Police say black ice is to blame.

"People are not recognizing that the roads are icy," said Lt. Patrick Hoey, Rockford Police Department.

Even though the snow is now on the side of the road, the city warns the blacktop still might not be as clear as you think.

"You'll notice that the streets are white, you know, that's because there's a lot of salt that's been put down," said Tim Hanson, Director of Rockford's Public Works department.

Several thousand tons of salt has been spread during the past two winter storms alone, but right now Hanson says it's not really working.

"There's not much you can do with Mother Nature, there's only so much you can do," Hanson said.

That's because when the temperatures sink as low as they have over the past couple of days, the salt can't activate. So if you think the roads are questionable, use extra caution especially on bridges!

"Bridges are tough because there's nothing underneath there, no land or anything, just pure concrete," said Hanson. "You have to go across these bridges slower, especially in the morning."

So to avoid ending up in a wreck, Lt. Hoey says all it takes is one simple step.

"They just have to go slow, that's the common theme, you just have to prepare for your conditions so when you know it's bitterly cold or it's snowfalling or there's a heavy rain you have to allow extra time," said Lt. Hoey.

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