Highway department prepares for winter

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Meteorological Winter started Wednesday and the weather outside was right on par with cold and blustery conditions.

Although we've only seen a bit of winter precipitation so far, Walter McMillan with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department said they are preparing for what's coming down the road literally.

McMillan said, "We took about half of our equipment and put our sand spreaders on our truck, our snow plows on our truck."

All of the equipment should be ready for winter by Christmas time. McMillan said once the equipment is prepared for winter they usually do a trial run.

"To make sure all the connections are connected right and everything works and everything's ready to go," said McMillan.

But what about the products used to treat the roads?

"We're in the process of getting our salt shipped in. Today (Wednesday) we are about 55% stocked up and by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week we expect to be at 100%," said McMillan.

McMillan said they use a combination of salt, sand, and magnesium chloride to treat the roads. All of which are included in a material budget every year. But with more snow last year they spent a little more than usual.

McMillan said, "In the two storms we had total for the year, we spent about 700,000 dollars on snow and ice removal."

This year McMillan said they are prepared for whatever mother-nature brings.

McMillan said, "We're hopeful that we don't have as much as we did last year."

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