Rush Hour Much Smoother After Messy Thursday Commute

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-- Drivers heading home Friday night were much happier than Thursday night when traffic in many places was at a standstill because of the heavy wintery mix that blanketed the St. Louis area.

By midday Friday, the main roads and secondary roads were wet, but clear and traffic was moving well.

But drivers could still find themselves in peril by straying too close to the shoulders, which in many places remain a tire trap.

Hundreds of cars were trapped and abandoned in the snow, complicating the morning rush hour.

Hartmann towing alone pulled 100 cars from the snow and turned down requests from 300 more.

"It was pretty bad. We were running non-stop," said Steven Hartmann.

MoDOT`s assistant district engineer Tom Blair said those stuck cars were quickly being cleared on Friday.

"We are working very aggressively today with the Missouri Highway Patrol and our private towing partners throughout the St. Louis region to get all those abandoned vehicles out of those snow banks so we can get those lanes pushed back and all lanes opened by the time it gets dark (Friday) on all our major roads."

Blair also said MoDOT`s effort has now shifted to the shoulders and edges of bridges, but even working around the clock, it could take most of the weekend to get everything clear.

As always, there are plenty of drivers who think MoDOT could have done a better job, but others seemed sympathetic.

"MoDOT couldn`t do anything," said driver Earl Foskett.  "How can you get around when everybody is at a crawl?  If everyone would have stayed off the roads they would have had them cleared a lot sooner."

Real estate agent Stella Hughes had no complaints either.

"I stayed either at the office or at home. I wasn`t out there yesterday," she said. "I believed the hype."

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