Road crews staying busy with wintry weather still passing through the Ozarks

MoDOT & City of Springfield still hard at work since Sunday
Even with cold temperatures and additional rounds of wintry weather, road crews are staying on top of keeping the roads as safe as possible.
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 7:30 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - More rounds of wintry weather have kept the road crews of MoDOT and the City of Springfield busy since Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.

Despite the freezing rain and mist causing a challenge, Darin Hamelink, district maintenance engineer at MoDOT, said crews were able to keep up with the weather.

“The main impact we saw was along I-44 and south,” Hamelink says. “We shifted some people from Lamar and Stockton. We shifted south and kind of staggered some more help to cover the major roads down here. We did see some slide-offs this morning in several locations mainly curves and intersections. But, we seem to have slowed down in terms of slide-offs and crashes.”

Colten Harris, the superintendent of streets for the City of Springfield, had a similar progress report from the perspective of city crews. “We’ve been responding since last night,” Harris said. “We had crews in at midnight treating to try to be ready ahead of the morning rush. We were able to get our A and B routes treated before the morning rush.”

In terms of the game plan for crews tonight, Hamelink is keeping it pretty simple. “We’re probably going to be treating with rock salt that’s coated with a chemical to make it work better at colder temperatures,” says Hamelink. “You can’t really plow much because it’s just so thin. You really need a fair amount of build up to be able to plow it off. I’d say half an inch or more.”

It’s a similar plan that Harris says the City of Springfield is taking. “Our salt is coated with the de-icing agent, IceBan 305,” Harris said. “That’s what we’re applying to the roads right now. We treated all of our routes and we’re going to continue to monitor those through the night.”

When it comes to the order of streets to treat or clear, Harris says the first focus is on the primary and secondary roads to keep them as clear and as passable as possible.

“We apply salt and we can actually plow it off as it accumulates,” Harris said. “We monitor that and we try to get to the point to where you can actually see the pavement.” That applies to the 750 lane miles within the city that they have designated as snow routes.

Road crews also monitor the roads and make any additional passes as needed should additional sleet or snow cover the roads once again. Meanwhile, both Hamelink and Harris say motorists should stay off the roads if they don’t need to travel.

If so, drivers need to slow down, keep plenty of distance between cars and allow the salt trucks plenty of room so they can properly treat the roads. You can find links to road conditions on our First Alert Weather Resources page and you can find a map of the designated snow routes in Springfield right here.

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