Road Crews Rev Up For Winter

December 8, 2005--Posted at 5:40 p.m. CDT

KENNETT, MO--A little bit of freezing rain and snow can go a long way, a long way to slowing down travel. This winter storm alone the Missouri Department of Transportation office in Kennett is spreading 50 tons of salt and 25 tons of sand. The first winter storm of the season has come and gone and the department of transportation is hard at work.

"We're on the job we have it under control," said Randy Biggs of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

MODOT began treating roads with liquid salt yesterday before the storm even hit.

"During the middle of the night when you get the call its snowing, everyone is lying in bed, you get out and you run these roads in the ice and the snow," said Biggs.

When inclement weather strikes drivers like Randy hit the roads for long hours salting and plowing to keep roadways clear.

"We'll usually run 12 hours shifts the night crew will work 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.," said Biggs.

So while schools and businesses are closed and enjoying a snow day, MODOT is having a hard work day.

This Kennett office of the Missouri Department of Transportation covers over 1000 miles of roads in Pemiscot and Dunklin counties. At their peak today they had 18 trucks out clearing the way for commuters. But the threat isn't over.

"It's not that big of a deal today but tonight when things refreeze it could be a big problem," said David Kitchens Maintenance Superintendent for MODOT.

So what is the number one tip for winter driving?

"Slow down, they continuously want to go fast and pass us, but if we are going slow, we are doing it for a reason," said Biggs.

Be assured when winter weather hits the Department of Transportation is there to keep drivers safe.

"We'll do everything it takes 24 hours a day to make the roads safe for the public if they are not then we are out here to make them safe," said Kitchens.

MODOT will be on the job again Thursday night. They will have at least 6 trucks running to salt and clear the roads of Southeast Missouri from precipitation that has re-frozen from the day.