Crews work to keep roads cleared as snow falls on the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Road crews across the Ozarks are busy working to keep streets and highways safe in this winter weather event.

The snow is really sticking and piling up on the grass. On the pavement, both in the City of Springfield and here just west of town the pavement is mostly wet with some slush. Traffic on I-44 seems to be moving a little slower than usual, with drivers using caution.

Crews with MoDOT, the city of Springfield, and Greene County have all been busy treating the roads, even before the snow started. MoDOT and County officials both tell me their crews came in Sunday evening to prepare their plows and load materials. The county started pre-treating hills, curves and intersections this morning and were keeping an eye on conditions to see if they warrant further treatment. MoDOT started treating in the northern part of their district around 10 p.m. Sunday, and across the Springfield area around 8 a.m. Monday. They are using salt treated with beet juice, which helps it work at colder temperatures and helps keep it from bouncing off the roadway.

MoDOT staff say the pavement temperature is hovering right around 33 degrees in the Springfield area. If it drops any lower, conditions will get more dangerous, and they'll be watching closely.

"We will be here, well through the rest of today, and plan to be here through the night, just as long as it takes to get the roads clear," said MoDOT engineer Darin Hamelink.

MoDOT has already seen roads clearing up in the Joplin area, but they'll be watching for the re-freeze, which could make roads more slick than they are now. Greene County has about 15 trucks out, while MoDOT has about 250 crews out across the 21 county district.