The weekend snow and ice storm played havoc with the power companies, but proved to be less of a nuisance for the Department of Transportation. DOT Winter Operations Manager, Dennis Burkheimer, says they had one factor in their favor.
Burkheimer says the good thing was the pavement temperatures stayed warm enough that the salt applied to roadways continued to work, and crews were able to scrape off the ice that the salt didn’t melt. Burkheimer says the rain did require them to keep a close eye on the pavement temperatures.
Burkheimer says it was a "tricky situation" trying to time the application of the salt so the material didn’t get washed away and could do its job on the salt. He says they were lucky to have pavement temperatures stay warm enough to help. Burkheimer says a weekend storm is easier to handle too without the extra cars with people heading into work. He says it’s nicer to get the road cleaned before there’s a lot of traffic or commuters.
Burkheimer says the weekend gives people more options to delay their travel, and allows DOT crews to get things cleared with less traffic. Burkheimer says the downside to weekend storms is that his crews have to work the weekend and get less time off. The first few months of winter were above average in warmth and Burkheimer says that’s left the stockpiles of salt and sand in good shape.
Burkheimer says they’ve probably used 20 to 30,000 tons of salt in the most recent storm, but he says they should have the supplies replenished in the next few days. Burkheimer says the sunny weather Monday helped clear the roads even more, and he says they’re now preparing for the next storm that’s predicted for tonight and Wednesday.