Interstate 80, between North Platte and Grand Island, reopened to traffic around 7:30 Thursday night after being closed due to a winter storm that dumped several inches in central Nebraska. Troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol responded to about 200 weather-related accidents and that prompted officials to close the interstate system.
State Patrol Public Relations Director Cody Thomas says, “There is still some snow on the ground but the Department of Transportation worked really hard overnight and into this morning and cleared a lot of those
roads. What we are seeing is still, because of that moisture and because of the cold temperatures, there is some ice in some spots, especially on bridges. Our troopers have responded to a number of crashes already today and slide-offs.”
Thomas says the initial closure was between Lexington and North Platte. Due to the traffic load the Patrol had to keep moving the closure east, first Kearney and then Grand Island as rest areas filled up. They did not want people stranded on the side of the I-80 so they expanded the closure east to accommodate travelers and provide them with safe places park and ride the storm out.
The State Patrol also assisted nearly 150 motorists. Many of them were stranded due to the storm. The Patrol reminds all drivers they can call “*55” from any cell phone to reach their Highway Helpline. For emergencies, drivers should call 911.