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Agencies Prepare for Weekend Winter Weather

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Highway Patrol spent today preparing for the weekend winter weather ahead.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  The weather this weekend will make for very slick roads.

The Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol have been spending today preparing.  Both agencies are of course no strangers to handling this stuff and are urging drivers to be extra cautious.

"We got more salt and materials in," says MoDOT Assistant District Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker.  "We're ready to plow and the trucks are ready to go."

The forecast this weekend is calling for all kinds of winter weather-- from freezing rain to ice to snow.

"Driving on these conditions is sometimes impossible," says Missouri State Highway Patrol Spokesman Sergeant Jason Pace.

"It's just difficult," says Becker.  "You can't plow the ice.  We want people to be very careful.  The ice is most difficult.  You can plow sleet off, it doesn't stick.  Ice sticks everywhere and we can't pre-treat because rain will wash it away."

MoDOT workers expect to have at least 300 plow trucks out this weekend and workers ask if you see one, to use caution and stay back 100 feet.

"We want people to be careful and safe," says Becker.  "Give us plenty of room, slow down, give yourself plenty of stopping distance-- because at some point, the roads are going to get slick.  We just want you to be careful."

"You're going to need that extra distance," says Sergeant Pace.  "You may need two, three, four car lengths within vehicles-- especially with icy conditions, there will be a lot of ice on those bridges and overpasses."

The Missouri Department of Transportation started the year off with 30,000 tons of salt.  The agency ordered another 8,000-10,000.

"It's been a struggle this winter," says Becker.  "But we've had more on hand and we have more in stock, so we are ready to go."

Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers are ready to assist drivers.  The most important thing to remember is to stay safe and use caution.

"If you see it's bad out, you may need to stay inside where it's safer," says Sergeant Pace.

If you do plan on traveling, you can go to MoDOT's website by clicking here for the latest travel and weather conditions.

If you happen to slide off the road, you can call 911 or *55 for assistance. 

   
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