MoDOT Plans to Pre-Treat Area Roads Thursday, Ahead of Winter Storm

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – MoDOT started developing its game plan Wednesday for the winter storm approaching the area.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm advisory Wednesday, covering Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon.

MoDOT Southwest District Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker explained to KOLR10 News how his crews plan to tackle a storm that could bring anywhere from a quarter-inch to more than a half-inch of ice.

“We don’t want to get too far ahead of it because we don’t want things blowing off the roads, but we want to get as close [as we can] and we want to get over everything this time,” Becker said.

To get it right, Becker said he will consider factors such as the storm’s expected arrival, and expected temperatures during and after heavy precipitation before he decides when crews will start pre-treating Thursday.

“Treating ice, you’re not going to plow that off the roads,” Becker said. “You have to try to get ahead of that and keep that from building up on the roadways itself, which can be difficult sometimes.”

Becker does have one thing going in his favor — the warm weather so far this week.

“The pavement’s warm, the subsurface is warm,” Becker said. “The ground insulates that pavement somewhat on the roadway itself so that helps out a tremendous amount. The sun does a great job and it’s a great advantage for us.”

It is not always easy for Becker’s crews to get around on the ice.

“We don’t get around any better; we have to make sure our vehicles are chained up if necessary,” Becker said. “We have ice cleats on our employees to keep them safe. It’s just instantly slick and you never know what’s going to happen.”

He said travelers should not expect it to be any easier for them.

“Minimal travel would be suggested but if they have to be out, just make sure the tires are in good shape, the car’s in good running condition,” Becker said. “And give yourself plenty of stopping distance because that ice — once you get sliding it’s hard to stop so you just need to be extremely careful in those situations.”

During and after the storm, MoDOT will work to clear major roads first and then move on to other routes.
 

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