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NW Arkansas Road Crews Struggle to Remove Ice

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas road crews made progress Monday, but many streets are still covered in ice and snow, and road departments are receiving complaints.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas road crews made progress Monday, but many streets are still covered in ice and snow, and road departments are receiving complaints.

Crews say they had their best day yet, and major roads are scraped down to pavement, but side roads still need some work. Glenn England has been living in his grader this weekend, without much to show for it.

"When you push down hard trying to break the ice you can't control the grader, the front end slides one way or the other," the grader operator says. "It's just like a 1/2 inch, inch of ice, snow covered... we're able to scrape the snow off, but the ice is just not coming up."

Washington County Road Department Assistant Superintendent Shawn Shrum says crews backed off Sunday.

"On Saturday we really weren't doing any good," he says. "We weren't getting any of the ice off, so we were hoping someof it would thaw yesterday and we could come back today."

You can see pavement on Springdale's major corridors, but the side roads are still a serious issue. Public Works Director Sam Goade says the cycle of thawing and freezing has crews hitting the same hills and intersections over and over again.

"We're trying to get to (side roads) as quickly as we can," he says. "Normally when we have a storm like this we'd go through 150, 200 tons of material, that we put on intersections and hills. Already, we're up to about 800 tons."

Short of spending millions of dollars on more equipment, Goade says there isn't anything more that can be done.

"You have to decide what's reasonable," he says. "I think all four major cities have equipment on hand that is reasonable for them to have, living in this part of Arkansas."




(story contributed by KNWA, Fayetteville, Ark)
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