The Missouri Department of Transportation will be conducting a state-wide winter drill Tuesday. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with MoDOT Maintenance Engineer, Beth Wright.
The MoDOT drill is to prepare the more than 3,000 employees and 1,600 trucks to clear the approximately 33,000 miles of state roads and highways when the first snowfall hits.
Wright estimates the operation will take about six hours to complete. She also adds this is a good time for motorists to also prepare their vehicles for winter weather. Wright says your vehicle should be winterized with plenty of anti-freeze and good tires. Also, keep an ice scraper, jumper cables, flash light, blankets, water and non-perishable food items inside the vehicle in case you become stranded.
Motorists will see MoDOT trucks on the roads starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday in rural areas and after 9 a.m. in urban areas.
For more information on travel in Missouri log onto the MoDOT website.
Press release form the Missouri Department of Transportation
For the second year in a row, MoDOT will test its readiness for the upcoming winter season with a statewide drill on Nov. 5.
The drill is one component of MoDOT’s winter battle plan to make sure travelers can get back on Missouri roadways as quickly as possible after winter storms.
“More than 3,000 of MoDOT employees are involved in our winter operations, including every maintenance crew across the state,” said State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright. “The drill helps to make sure we all know our roles during a storm and we can do our jobs successfully.”
During the drill, MoDOT employees will react to a simulated forecast of significant snow for the entire state. The department’s emergency operations centers will activate and maintenance employees will be deployed to their trucks.
“One of the most valuable parts of the drill is to measure our snowplow circuit by driving every route we plow during a storm,” said Wright. “This helps us anticipate response times and reminds our operators of how long it takes to complete those circuits.”
Motorists may notice increased numbers of MoDOT vehicles on state routes during the drill. In rural areas, crews will deploy after 8 a.m. In urban areas, the drill will not begin until after 9 a.m. Wright estimates that the exercise will take about six hours.
The drill isn’t the only element to MoDOT’s winter weather operations. All maintenance employees complete an annual winter skills training that serves as a refresher course for plowing snow. The training assures that proper equipment operation, plowing techniques and safety measures are fresh on employees’ minds as winter approaches. Every piece of equipment – every truck, motorgrader, snow blower, and tractor is inspected to ensure proper operation.
“Our ultimate goal is to handle the first snowfall like we’ve been plowing snow all year,” said Wright. “Careful planning and preparation means our crews can mobilize when needed and our equipment will be ready.”
MoDOT spends about $42 million annually to keep roads clear in the winter and help ensure motorists get to their destinations safely and quickly. Road conditions across the state, safe traveling tips and other winter weather information are available at Winter Driving Tips.