Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
IDOT Crews Prepare For More Winter Weather
WSIL -- The chance of snow and ice in the next week has local road crews on high alert.
Earlier this week, cities like Atlanta and Birmingham were forced to shut down major highways after only a few inches of snowfall. So what can local road crews learn from those mistakes?
"The most important thing for us to do right now is to pay close attention to the forecast," said IDOT engineer Keith Miley. "We want to see what kind of precipitation might precede the main event."
On Tuesday, winter weather hit many southern cities from Mobile to Charleston, triggering thousands of flight cancellations and hundreds of traffic accidents.
"They just don't face this like we do," explained Miley.
Only two to three inches of snow fell in Atlanta, but that was enough to bring traffic to a gridlock. Local engineers say what happened there and other cities isn't likely to happen in southern Illinois.
"They certainly wouldn't have personnel that would have the kind of experience that our snow plow operators and engineers have," explained Miley. "We take a winter storm pretty seriously because of the impact it can have on the traveling public."
More than 120 snow plows serve the state's southern 16 counties. Crews have already used more than 20,000 tons of salt this winter and could be out pre--treating roads as early as this weekend.
"We don't take chances when we think there is a high probability of a winter event," said Miley.