Snow Plow Preparations
COLUMBIA - Snow may be in this weekend's forecast, but the Missouri Department of Transportation says it's prepared.
MoDOT in Jefferson City, which covers 13 surrounding counties, has 171 trucks ready to go in case snow falls. MoDOT is also monitoring the ground temperature and if it gets below freezing, crews will be on the look out for icy roads. The department has 300,000 tons of salt in storage for this winter, which is more than the amount used last year.
Although a report says that snow plows in the area will be making fewer runs, MoDOT's Maintenance Superintendent Mike Belt assures motorists that the roads will be clear. "Motorists should see no significant change from years in the past in performing snow removal. We're still committing all of ours trucks, and we'll apply chemicals and abrasives where needed."
The only difference this year is the amount of plowing during the last third of the snowstorm. The first two-thirds of the storm will be the same, but after this phase MoDOT crews will judge whether or not they are still being productive in removing snow. If they are removing snow, they will continue to plow. If temperatures drop and snow sticks to the roadways, the crews can no longer plow and will have to apply chemicals to the surface of the roads.
Too much plowing can damage roadways, and the damage caused by plows needs to be repaired in the spring. MoDOT doesn't want to spend a great deal of its budget repairing damage from winter plowing, so crews are using this new system to decide which snow removal process should be applied.
"We'll plow as long as we need to plow, as long as we're being productive and make roads as open as we can for the public," added Belt.
Concerned drivers can check MoDOT's website, where they can find a traveler information map. This map contains updates on the conditions of roads. Motorists can also talk to a live operator that can be reached 24-hours each day at 888-ASK MODOT.