MoDot Prepares as Winter Approaches

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COLUMBIA - MoDOT Crews patrolled snow routes Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming winter season. This is the second year in a row truck operators have gone through a snow drill to make sure travelers can get back on Missouri roadways as quickly as possible after winter storms.

The drill helps more than 3,000 MoDOT employees involved in winter operations learn what roles they have when it comes time to clear the roads.

During the drill, crews reacted to a simulated forecast of significant snow for the entire state. The department's emergency operations centers deployed employees to their trucks after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Assistant supervisor Keegan Sievers said the drill gave truck operators the chance to get reacquainted with their equipment to better prepare for this year's snow fight.

"It's not so much of a schooling type of program, it's more of a hands on affiliation where guys can get out on the routes that they're going to actually plow on and not just run in parking lots or somewhere where they wouldn't normally be in the snow fight," Sievers said.

Sievers also explained the importance of drivers staying away from truck crews involved in "gang plowing" operations.

"In the past, I've had problems where vehicles try to get in between those trucks that are close together trying to clear off the road and it makes it difficult because we're not trying to hit them with any snow or debris," Sievers said. "The road gets cleared faster if they're out of the way and we can get in there and do the job."

Operators went on Interstate 70 and U.S. 63, as well as Routes WW, PP, Z and TT during the snow drill. Other routes on the drill included College Avenue, Rangeline Street, Providence Road, Stadium Boulevard, Business Loop 70 and Route B.

MoDOT spends about $42 million annually to keep roads clear in the winter and help ensure motorists get to their destinations safely and quickly.