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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Melissa Black or Sandy Hentges, (573) 526-4141.

November 01, 2010 12:00 AM
MoDOT Clearing the Way for Winter Travel
Improved Winter Road Conditions Map Available at www.modot.org

JEFFERSON CITY - As Missouri nights get cooler and the days grow shorter, Missouri Department of Transportation crews are preparing for the upcoming winter by stocking buildings with salt and beet juice and ensuring plows and crews are prepared for the first snowfall.

"This snow season, winter operations will run like a well-oiled machine," said Don Hillis, director of System Management. "Crews will tackle each storm with a specific plan based on the storm type. We will focus on keeping Missouri's roads safe and passable."

If motorists are unsure about the condition of the roads, they can check the Traveler Information Map on MoDOT's website - http://www.modot.org/ - that now includes weather radar imagery. Viewers can see what is happening and what is coming their way. New categories to better describe winter road conditions include the following: Closed, Covered, Partly Covered, Mostly Clear and Clear.

"Paying attention when driving and slowing down during bad weather should be common sense, but after a long season of warm weather we can all use a reminder," Hillis said. "We also want to remind motorists that although we're working hard to make roads safe and passable for motorists, drivers need to drive cautiously, pay extra attention and drive defensively."

MoDOT will focus on getting roads drivable in bad weather by treating the highest-traveled major roads and regionally significant roads first until they are mostly clear. All the remaining less-traveled roads will be plowed to allow for safe travel concentrating on hills, curves and intersections. MoDOT crews will be using plows that can cover more roads in a single pass like TowPlows, wing plows and 14-foot plows.

The department has also developed a new rating system for storms, ranging from a Type 1 being the most severe with more than 12 inches of snow or more than ¾ inch of ice, down to a Type 5 that includes frost, flurries, freezing fog, blowing snow and refreeze. Crews develop a specific plan based on the approaching storm type.

"We'll keep a close eye on our response on every storm, we will do our best with our resources and evaluate how we can improve," Hillis said. "The more efficiently we do our job this winter, the more funds we'll have for resurfacing our pavements next summer."

MoDOT has more than 3,000 employees and more than 1,600 pieces of equipment ready to fight the winter storms. "Remember to give snowplows plenty of room to work, don't tailgate and try not to pass plows," Hillis said. "We want everyone to get home safely. Buckle up, and remember, when driving in ice and snow, take it slow."

For information on road conditions across the state, road condition pictures, safe traveling tips and a diagram on driveway clearing techniques, visit http://www.modot.org/road_conditions/snowplowingintro.htm or call 888-ASK MODOT.  Recorded road-condition information is available at (800) 222-6400.


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