PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas roads took a beating last winter after heavy ice storms and freezing temperatures swept through the area.
Last Winter brought an ice storm that left cars banked on the side of the road and I-55 grid locked. With that storm being such a big problem for the highway department to tackle they said that if it happens again this year, they will be ready.
District 10 Engineer Walter McMillan said, "We are planning on doing a lot more pre-treatment than what we've done in the past."
McMillan said that beyond the pretreating the roads, they have also made efforts to get more equipment this year.
McMillan said, "We will have a larger capability to pre-treat the road, some tanks, distributor tanks, a tanker, and we do have now one belly mounted snow plow truck."
McMillan said that this year they have adopted ways of handling a storm that states around Arkansas have used and found work better than the plan that was in place last Winter.
McMillan said, "This year it's much more if a storm is predicted just to hit part of the state, then we will send equipment from the other parts to help the one where the storm is supposed to hit."
McMillan said that another thing they adopted from other states is focusing on the major roadways like highway 63, 67 and Interstate 55.
McMillan said, "We're going to put more effort into them during the snow, keeping them clean, then we have in the past."
With those major highways getting more attention McMillan said that it will help traffic keep moving but may lead to another issue that may still cause a few problems
McMillan said, "Some of the places won't get the attention early on that they have gotten."
The budget for the AHTD District 10 equipment this year has doubled, and with that they will be getting more salt to treat the roads, more equipment to clear the roads for this year, and they have ordered even more equipment to handle Winter next year.