Posted: Feb 1, 2014 3:57 PM by Alyssa Strickland, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Feb 1, 2014 7:38 PM
JEFFERSON CITY - Roadwork across mid-Missouri began in the early hours of Saturday morning. MoDOT worked around the clock to make sure roads were safe for motorists. Tim Chojnacki, the Maintenance Liaison Engineer for MoDOT said, the progress of the roads compared to the earlier hours is significantly greater.
"Along Interstate 70 is where we had some of our worst problems around the 2 to 3 a.m. time frame," Chojnacki said, "Because we had the most significant ice accumulation then."
Freezing rain and snow hit mid-Missouri Friday night. For the Boone and Cole Counties area, MoDOT started plows and applied chemicals to the roads beginning Saturday morning. The MoDOT Maintenance Superintendent for Boone and Cole Counties Mike Belt said the storm has been lengthy already and may continue through the night.
"Around this area in Columbia, we've received about three-quarters of an inch of ice," Belt said. "And for those operations, we've had all of our equipment out."
By equipment, Belt is referrring to plows carrying salt and sand. MoDOT also called in emergency response crews to help people stuck on the roadsides. Belt also said that MoDOT got chemicals onto most of the roads, but due to the cold temperatures that have maintained throughout the day, the roads are estimated at only 50 percent cleared. Belt said Saturday afternoon the roadways probably won't look much better throughout the night beacuse of the continued weather.
"Boone and Cole Counties are unfortunately in the "ice-band," Belt said. "[Which is] right through the middle [of the state] where North of us was snow and South of us was rain."
Belt said that is why North Missouri received a lot of snow compared to Boone and Cole Counties.
Belt said it's Mother Nature helping out a little more to the South, and a little less to the North. Belt and Chojnacki both enouraged drivers to stay home if they don't have to travel. Resients can also call a toll free line to call and speak to a customer service agent at 888-ASKMODOT or go online to MoDOT.org to check the travelers map before beginning travel.