GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 5, 2014) — While many people reported late to work Wednesday morning and used slow freeway traffic as an excuse, there were many drivers who spent the morning getting their vehicles out of medians and ditches or getting a tow to the body shop.
All this over three inches of snow.
The trouble began just before 7 a.m., the normal time traffic volumes surge each morning.
Two right lanes and one left lane on northbound US-131 were blocked at I-96 north of downtown Grand Rapids with a semi and two other vehicles in a non-injury crash. It took an hour to clear the scene.
At the same time, a jackknifed semi blocked I-94 westbound near M-37/Columbia Avenue. The freeway had to be closed to allow for the semi to be dragged out of the ditch. The scene was not cleared until around 8:30 a.m.
All area expressways were extremely slow as wheels packed snow that began as innocent fluffy stuff. Slide-offs were common, expecially on US-131 in Allegan County, I-196 west of Hudsonville, and I-96 in the Coopersville area.
At one point, there were three simultaneous freeway closures. A multi-vehicle pile-up closed I-94 eastbound and westbound in Jackson at exit 142 where US-127 heads south. A two-car crash closed northbound US-131 north of 142nd Avenue Dorr exit. And a crash closed westbound I-94 at Partello Road in Marshall.