Road crews warn drivers to leave room for snow plows

Posted on 9 February 2018 at 5:13pm

COLUMBIA - Ahead of this weekend's predicted winter weather, MoDOT has begun treating roads. Columbia Public Works is meeting to decide whether it needs to begin treating roads as well.

Barry Dalton, Public Information Officer for Public Works, said several different factors go into creating a pre-treatment plan.

"The engineers have to consider weather conditions, what kind of pre-treatment to use, how soon we need to start treating roads," Dalton said.

Dalton said said last weekend's weather and pre-treatment will benefit crews this weekend.

"We pre-treated and then nothing happened, but that's not a bad thing," Dalton said. "That salt and that pre-treatment is still on the roads so it's almost in preparation for this weekend."

Jason Shafer, MoDOT district maintenance engineer, said attention will be focused on places that get slick fast or have heavy traffic.

"We started this afternoon and we are brining the bridges, ramps, and the entirety of I-70 through Callaway, Boone and Cooper counties," Shafer said.

Dalton said public works will focus its attention on "bridges, curves, hills and intersections."

Both Shafer and Dalton said drivers need to give snow plow crews plenty of room to work. 

"The two most frequent complaints from our drivers are cars parked on the road they have to get around and drivers tailgating them or trying to pass them," Dalton said.

"They can't always see you," Shafer said. "You might be able to see them, but they've got those big 14 ft. plows on the front of their trucks. And honestly, the safest place to be is behind them because you know the road will be plowed when you drive on it."

Drivers are encouraged to stay at least 100 ft. behind plows. 

To keep updated on road conditions, visit MoDOT's traveler information map.