COLUMBIA — Lanes in both directions of Interstate 70 were closed Thursday after a storm dumped 10 inches of snow on Columbia, causing long lines ofbacked up traffic.
About 11 a.m. on I-70 at U.S. 63 a semitruck stalled going up a highway ramp and blocked traffic, said Mike Schupp, area engineer for the central district of the Missouri Department of Transportation. Later, two other semis joined the first, blocking both east and westbound lanes of traffic.
An alert from Columbia-Boone County Joint Communications/Emergency Management stated that MoDOT would close all four lanes of I-70 between the U.S. 63 connector and the Lake of the Woods Road exit.
Though MoDOT’s website showed all lanes closed for the entire day, Schupp said he received reports of traffic trickling through on the eastbound lane.
Three employees remained on the scene all day to oversee the semis' removal, Schupp said.
“Wreckers were pulling them out as quickly as possible,” he said. “We had plows going along in front trying to give them some traction.”
Traffic on I-70 was slowed or stopped for hours. Blockages were finally cleared around 8 p.m.
Schupp said that traffic volumes were unusually low for a Thursday morning.
“People decided to get off the interstate and wait out the storm,” he said, “or take a different route.”