Why are the roads still icy? - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Why are the roads still icy?

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JONESBORO,AR (KAIT)-The winter storm may be gone but the icy is not. Many people are asking why there is still ice on the roads and highways in Region 8.

"It's ice and ice is more significantly more challenging to remove from the highways right away than snow is," said Danny Straessle, spokesman for Arkansas Highway Transportation Department. 

He said it was easier to clear the roads last year because they were only dealing with snow.

"We can plough snow all day and we would love to plough snow all day instead of trying to tackle ice," Straessle said. "You can't just drop a blade,a plough blade on the roadways and start ploughing ice because you'll either tear up the roadways or you will tear up the blade."

He said no two winter weather events are the same and their priority is to get the most traveled routes cleared first.

"Interstate 55, US highway 49, US 67 and also highways that provide connectivity from one community to another like US highway 63," Straessle explained.

He said when it comes to funding, there is no separate amount for winter weather.

"Removing snow and ice from the state highway is highway maintenance. Winter weather precipitation removal is just strictly maintenance in our eyes," he said. "During the last 10 years, on average ,we've averaged about 6 point 2 million dollars per year."

But Straessle said money may not always be the solution.  

"It's too soon after the event to say hey you need to throw more money at it, hey you need to throw more equipment and materials at it," he said.

Straessle said he is hoping to have all the roads and state highways clear by the end of the week.

"We will continue to address all the ice patches that come up."

Straessle said they are also consulting the Missouri and Iowa's Department of Transportation to look for better practices that they can put into play.

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