Fox 2 rides along with IDOT as they prepare for winter storm

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – The men and women helping clear the roads, bridges and streets are working long shifts.

Fox 2’s Kelley Hoskins had a ride-along Wednesday with IDOT workers as they prepare for tonight’s winter storm.

At the IDOT yard in East St. Louis highway maintenance workers will be deployed throughout the day and night working in 12 hours shifts.  Sometimes those shifts will overlap.

Today we spent the day with a veteran worker who has been clearing roadways for years behind the wheel that helps make your commute safer.

Tom Siffert is a veteran who served in the army and now is an IDOT maintenance maintainer.

Siffert says he's been clearing Illinois roads for 10 years and he loves his job.

Siffert says he believes he is doing a public service.  He just wishes some drivers would feel the same.

“Sometimes they don’t seem to appreciate it cause you got your flashers on, they ignore it, and they think you got to get out of their way and we are trying to help them,” said Tom Siffert, IDOT Maintenance Maintainer.

The Illinois Department of Transportation took our news crew on a ride along as crews were pre-treating the roads.

We are putting down a brine solution its water sodium chloride and calcium chloride they are in specific for this storm and focus on bridge decks and problem spots,” said Joe Monroe, IDOT Bureau of Operations.

Siffert says drivers have to use patience, “Sometimes they get upset they follow close once then when you turn on the spray they back off, they sometimes don’t like it and go by and show their disgust,” said Siffert.

IDOT crews have been sent home, for now, to get some rest and night crews will be in as scheduled.  They want to make sure workers are ready for the next 24 hours.

“You are looking at onset starting with 100 trucks across 11 counties we are out right now trying to make sure we are in front of anything,” said Monroe.

IDOT workers say the winter weather headed our way could create slick and dangerous road conditions.  Motorists who must travel during the snow should check road conditions and road closures.