MENOMONEE FALLS (WITI) -- The Menomonee Falls Police Department temporarily shut down Highway 41/45 near Highway Q Friday morning, January 9th due to slippery conditions and multiple accidents. All lanes have since reopened.
The highway was shut down around 9 a.m. and remained closed for over an hour.
"Ugh! It was really bad," said Phet Phetsarath, commuter.
Phetsarath's drive to work was a little worse than usual today, even for winter.
"I didn't know what was going on, there was a traffic jam," said Phetsarath.
Menomonee Falls Police and Fire departments responded to at least three separate crashes, each involving multiple vehicles, that led to the closure. There were no life-threatening injuries as a result of the crashes.
"It's something we don't take lightly. But we had multiple crashes covering multiple areas of the freeway, multiple lanes, and we had people outside of their vehicles, citizens and first responders," said Said Menomonee Police Department Assistant Chief of Police, Mark Waters.
It was about a 3 mile closure from 124th at the Milwaukee County border to Highway Q at the Washington County Board. It lasted for about an hour, during which the crews from Menomonee Falls, even off duty officers, Germantown, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office cleared the accidents -- they took care of minor injuries and then called in the salt trucks.
That meant drivers like Phetsarath's had to take a detour. And since her place of work is in the middle of it all, right off the highway, she got to witness it long after she exited.
"People came into work and asked me what was going on. I had one lady that asked to use the phone to call her work place because she was late already," said Phetsarath.
She dealt with something very similar last year when that same stretch of highway was the site of a massive multiple car pileup.
"It was scary last year, it was really scary," said Phetsarath.
To stop that from happening again, police acted quickly and says the inconvenience of a short traffic shutdown was worth it.
"I would say the fact that we had no life threatening injuries, and that we only inconvenienced the public for about an hour, I would call it a success," said Waters.
Officials say the road has been salted to alleviate the icy conditions. Police continue to monitor this stretch of highway and advise drivers taking this route home to do the same.
Menomonee Falls police say they also experienced crashes on or near bridges and overpasses.
Officials caution drivers to be aware that blowing snow in extreme cold can cause ice to form on streets.