Road crews ready for possibility of more wintry weather

Road crews ready for possibility of more wintry weather

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Across Region 8, road crew trucks are loaded down with sand in preparation for the next round of winter weather expected to hit the area.

In Jonesboro, plans are already in place for which roads to tackle first.

"We figure, if we can get the main thoroughfares open, when people need to go somewhere, if they can from their homes to the main thoroughfares, they can go anywhere in town," Steve Tippitt told Region 8 News.

Tippitt, the Street Superintendent for the City of Jonesboro, said no matter when the rain switches to wintry weather, they'll be ready.

"When it does, we'll start nine hour shifts and we'll stay at nine hour shifts til it's over with," he said. "A lot of people don't think we're doing much but if we can keep it as thin as possible, when the sun does come out, it gets off the roads real quick."

However, Tippitt said they won't be out beforehand pre-treating the roads.

Tippitt explained they've tried it before and it rarely works.

"In our area, we get so much rain before we get any bad weather," Tippitt said. "It washes our chemicals off in the drains and stuff so we just kinda feel like it's wasting the taxpayer money if we pre-treat with that chemical."

Tippitt said instead, the chemical is mixed in with the sand that's spread on the roads.

Tippitt said the sand gives drivers traction and the chemical activates to melt the ice as more people drive on the road.

Though we've had some close calls with winter weather this year, Tippitt said they're ready for whatever happens.

"We've lucked out a couple times this year, it's went south or north of us," Tippitt said. "As you know, they're hollering' for it to be 66 degrees tomorrow and 25 on Thursday so we just have to be ready for it."

Other road departments we spoke with by phone said they had the same plan as Jonesboro.

Many will have crews on rotation and plan to hit the roads as soon as winter weather starts to fall without pre-treatment.

Walter McMillan with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said they will pre-treat roadways. However, because of the rain that will come through on Tuesday, they'll be using rock salt instead of saltwater brine to pre-treat roadways.

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