MoDOT, IDOT make preparations for snowy Friday commute

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The Missouri and Illinois transportation departments are preparing for some snow on Friday, which could affect that evening’s rush hour.

Crews won’t be pretreating much because of the rain Thursday evening, but Joseph Monroe, the District 8 Operations Engineer for IDOT, says they will utilize their trucks and resources.

“The key for us will be to be in front of the storm and have our women and men behind the plow in plenty of time,” Monroe said.

Bob Becker, a district maintenance engineer with MoDOT, says they’ll be fully staffed and ready.

“It’s not going to be a big event but it doesn’t take much to cause some problems out on the roadway and make the roads slick, so we’ll be out there monitoring things and treating as needed,” Becker said.

One challenge they face tomorrow is the timing and that it may impact rush hour.

“Now with the coronavirus pandemic, rush hour’s not as prominent. But there’s still people that need to get to work, seek medical attention, those sorts of things, so we want to make sure that we’re hitting the peaks,” Monroe said.

A challenge for drivers will be how quickly road conditions can change.

“Its conditions change so quickly as these bursts come around. It may be fine where you’re driving currently and five miles down the road there was a big burst, so there’s more stuff on the roadway so that road is slick right there. That bridge gets slick and people don’t account for that and it causes some bad issues,” said Becker.

An important reminder is to give all plows plenty of room to work. The conditions behind a plow will be better than the pavement conditions in front of it. If you must past, use extra, extra caution.

And Monroe shares some important advice for Friday.

“If you weren’t out already, the first storm is always a little bit of a learning curve. Leave in plenty of time,” Monroe said. “In this current climate, let’s try to be courteous to everyone on the road and give everyone plenty of space. Someone may not be doing as well on a particular day as you are driving, so if you give them room hopefully everyone gets to where they need to go safely.”

Becker says that if you can work from home and don’t have to commute tomorrow, especially in the afternoon, then that will help out too.

For information on road conditions in Missouri, visit www.modot.org. For information on road conditions in Illinois, visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com/winterconditions.

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