Icy conditions in Missouri’s neighboring states, Arkansas and Tennessee, are prompting the Missouri Department of Transportation to encourage travelers to avoid taking southbound Interstate 55 toward Arkansas or southbound Interstate 155 toward Tennessee. The recent storm hit portions of western Tennessee and northeastern Arkansas, leaving several inches of ice that is challenging to clear in the currently frigid temperatures. With temperatures falling overnight, there is a potential for refreeze, as well as significant delays due to slow moving traffic. In combination with the winter weather, Arkansas also has a single lane work zone on southbound I-55 near Osceola. If an incident occurs, it will require the complete closure of southbound I-55 in Arkansas, which could lead to back-ups and closures in Missouri. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, the icy conditions have left tractor trailers unable to pull up the grade on southbound I-155 at Lennox Bluff (mile marker 6). During an earlier incident today, wreckers were called to assist vehicles up the incline, which led to an eight-mile back-up on EB I-155 in Tennessee and the closure of I-155 in Missouri near Caruthersville.
As an alternate route to Arkansas, drivers may take Route 60 to Springfield, Mo. and Route 65 to Little Rock, Ark. As an alternate route to Tennessee, drivers may take Interstate 57 at Sikeston, Mo. to Interstate 24 toward Nashville, Tenn. Motorists are encouraged to avoid traveling through northeast Arkansas near Memphis. For more information about roadway conditions and incidents in Missouri, please visit the Traveler Information Map at http://traveler.modot.org/map or call MoDOT’s Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-888 ASK MODOT (275-6636).
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