Local public works crews use strategy to keep roads clear during winter weather

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Salt, brine, and snowplows are hitting the road across central Illinois Monday.

Local public works leaders say it takes a lot of strategies to keep roads clear and safe for drivers. On Monday, crews spent most of the day prepping for more winter weather.

“A lot of it is just based upon what we see going on right now,” said Dunlap village superintendent Dale Bishop.

Bishop says crews are ready for ice and snow.

“If it starts maybe freezing rain or we et a little sleet, then we’ll go out and pre-salt some of our main roads, just to try to help us out when we plow later,” said Bishop.

Bishop’s strategy is to clear main roads first. He says it helps his small crews avoid wasting resources.

“It’s just conserving the salt. We have so much that we can use for the year, so we have to kind of limit it,”

Bishop says salt is expensive and the village can’t afford to clear streets like they do in bigger cities like Peoria.

“Every time we go out and plow snow, it’s usually about 800 dollars that it costs us to salt the whole town and to get it so the roads are safe,” said Bishop.

Sie Maroon, the Peoria Public Works Director of Operations, says the prep work pays off once the snow and ice arrive.

“We pretreated on Friday. We pretreated last night and into this morning,” said Maroon.

He says crews are on standby to clear the city’s 17 snow routes. It’s four fewer routes than they had last season.

“Obviously we have less trucks on the streets, those routes went from 21 to 17, they got larger. So now it takes longer for us to complete a route,” said Maroon.

But despite the cuts, he says crews can manage conditions and slick roads.

“We have a good number of resources when it comes from equipment to material. Although our material is a little bit down from what we’re used to having in our salt dome,” said Maroon.

Still, maroon says roads will be plowed and salted as needed. Maroon recommends drivers be careful if they’re on the roads and see a snowplow driver. He says it’s safer to stay behind the snowplow, as roads in front of it might not be clear.

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