Freezing rain caused multiple spinouts and accidents on area roadways this morning, but the situation got better as the morning rush hour wore on, officials said.
"It looks like we're getting it under control," a dispatcher for the Illinois Department of Transportation said shortly before 7 a.m. "The rain is ending, and the salt is taking hold."
But earlier, dozens of spinouts and minor crashes were reported as temperatures hovered around the freezing mark and roads became coated with a thin sheet of ice.
And the collision of a Metra train and a car at a grade crossing West Chicago that delayed service on the Union Pacific West Line was attributed to the icy conditions.s
The western suburbs, both north and south, were most affected. "It's from Plainfield to South Elgin to Woodstock," the IDOT dispatcher said.
Illinois State police reported multiple accidents on the Stevenson Expressway and Bishop Ford Freeway, but said there were no serious injuries.
"It's the expressways, the secondary roads, all over," said Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Chadd Brody. "Mostly bridge decks, anywhere with concrete."
"It's cars vs. walls, cars in ditches," said another Illinois State trooper.
Salt trucks were busy at work.
Bridges, ramps and overpasses were freezing first and particular trouble spots. Police closed several area bridges, including the 9th Street bridge over the Des Plaines River in Lockport. They also cited the Des Plaines River Valley Bridge on I-355 as a bad spot.
Rising temperatures were easing the situation as the morning wore on, however.
The National Weather Service said scattered showers would end early this morning, but that unsalted and lesser-dtraveled roadways likely would have icy patches, making travel difficult.
"Persons traveling early this morning should use extra caution and be prepared to encounter slick spots," the weather service said.
But the ice should melt by mid-morning, it added. A high temperature of 48 degrees was expected today.