Day 1: Long Day for MoDOT Workers

1 decade 1 year 7 months ago Saturday, December 02 2006 Dec 2, 2006 Saturday, December 02, 2006 9:44:19 PM CST December 02, 2006 in News
Crews came in around 1 a.m., but they had no time to relax. They were busy making repairs to trucks, getting ready for what would be some of the deepest snow they've had to plow in more than 10 years. These conditions are hard on equipment, but also on the drivers.

"You know the visibility's been terrible, when it's snowing, as far as running with the lights on the trucks it's real hard to see, and of course it's at night and you're tired anyway," said Brandon Bennet, truck driver.

When these trucks are full of salt they can cover a stretch of highway roughly from Columbia to Ashland on a day like today. The salt is stored in a hopper and is drawn into the spreader. The driver can then control the shot rate from inside the cab to determine how much salt gets put onto the highway. The superintendent says even though the snow has stopped, you shouldn't come out.

"It's not over because the wind's picking up and we're going to see some drifting. And we haven't even started cleaning the roads yet. There's a lot of work here to be done and this is dangerous. They get stuck out there, people can freeze to death pretty quick."

Usually plowing is divided between jurisdictions, like state and county. However, some county drivers say this is the first time they've had to plow state roads just to get to their county roads.

These workers have been working non-stop. In fact, the superintendent said some of them keep going until he has to force them to take a break. In the mean time, they're trying to keep their trucks running and will continue to plow and salt around the clock. But, as workers have been saying, it's not over yet. And to give you some idea of how bad some of the roads still are, one of the snow plow drivers, in one of their big trucks, got stuck. So nobody should be on the roads if they don't have to be.

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Columbia, MO
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