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Road Crews Take Advantage of Nice Weather to Prepare for Winter

Snow-covered roads are hard to imagine right now, but this type of hazard is already a priority for road crews as they look at their supply and budget for the winter.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Snow-covered roads are hard to imagine right now, but that type of hazard is already a priority for road crews as they look at their supply and budget for the winter.

"We started ordering supplies, more salt for the geo-melt that we add to the salt," said City of St. Joseph Assistant Superintendent of Streets, Keven Schneider.

Crews from The City of St. Joseph and the Missouri Department of Transporation are getting their gear in place while the weather is still nice. Early forecasts indicate below-average temperatures as well as above-normal precipitation ahead for the winter months.

"We've heard what the Farmer's Almanac says, but you know about every winter it's going to be cold and we're going to get snow, and so we pretty much plan on a lot of snow and a cold winter," said Marty Liles, MoDOT.

And, even though snow may be weeks or months away, this is the time of year when crews prepare.

"It's a big job getting everything and we use a lot of material, and of course depending on the weather, but we normally use a lot of material. It's a lot of long hours, and you're driving the big equipment on slick streets with quite a load on them, so we have to get everything ready to go before hand," said Schneider.

Statewide, MoDOT spent about $43 million last year clearing snowy roads and about $5.6 million here in northwest Missouri alone. Crews cover more than 3,300 miles with more than 180 plows.

The City of St. Joseph covers 430 lane miles with 15 spreaders, which are also getting a check-up ahead of winter.

"Last month or so our garage has been pulling in the spreaders and plows one at a time putting them on a truck and taking them one at a time to go through them all and making sure everything is in working order and ready to go," said Schneider.

This Saturday, Sept. 28, MoDOT is hosting a job fair at the office on the North Belt Highway from 1 to 4 p.m.

The agency is looking for seasonal and emergency workers.
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