Despite nice weather, snowplows on the roads Wednesday
JEFFERSON CITY – Snow is not yet in the local weather forecast, but the Missouri Department of Transportation wants to be ready for the upcoming winter and did a statewide snow drill on Wednesday to test its workers and equipment.
MoDOT ran through the winter battle plan, including how to get travelers back on Missouri roadways as quickly as possible after winter storms.
“It has been half a year or better since we had a lot of this equipment operational, so it's a good idea for us to get back in to see what we might have to do to get it running again,” Central District Maintenance Engineer Randy Aulbur said.
The employees had to react to a simulated forecast of significant snow, which gave the snowplow drivers a chance to test the equipment and also time the drive on their routes and be aware of obstacles.
“I don't know if anybody actually ever looks forward to the snow, but I look forward to the part that we're prepared for the snow. It makes it a lot easier to be prepared and I think today is essential for that,” maintenance crew leader James Hake said.
Statewide 1,500 MoDOT snowplows are involved in the winter operations, and the Central District has 225 snow trucks available.
This year is the fifth year MoDOT is testing its readiness before the first snowfall to ensure the employees react correctly and safely to the winter weather.
“Through the summer, we take that time away to replenish our salt quantities, and now we're also prepared with our equipment and ready to go,” Aulbur said.