ST. LOUIS – After a snowy day, the drive home Monday night turned into hours stuck on icy roads for many drivers. MoDOT St. Louis District’s Maintenance Engineer Bob Becker began a Tuesday morning news conference by saying they had a lot of issues Monday evening.
“That last burst that came through about 3:00 p.m., we weren’t expecting,” Becker said. “If we would have known that was coming through, we would have had a little heavier treatment down to get ahead of it. But we didn’t see that much coming down. It had been a light snow all day. We had been able to manage it. But that got away from us. “
Radar from Monday afternoon shows the last of the snow making its way across the region. After what had been a lull about midday, the snowfall rate ramped back up as the afternoon went on, shown by darker purple bands.
“Our biggest problem with last night is we had that last band come through there at 2:30-3:00 p.m., right before rush hour,” Becker said. “We had a few accidents. We got ourselves behind, which caused the problem.”
As the snow ended, pavement temperatures continued to fall. Our Woods Basement Systems Storm Runner showed road temps dropping into the mid-20s. Crews were out all night putting down treatment but black ice on shoulders, ramps, and overpasses caused more issues Tuesday morning.
“We’ve got treated salts, so that helps in these kinds of conditions. It will go to almost zero. So, it has been working,” Becker said. “The biggest concern always is, ‘Did you get enough material down and did it dilute it and freeze back up again.’”
MoDOT says they make the best decisions based on the information at hand. They don’t want to waste money putting down a lot of treatment that’s unnecessary. But they admit this first snow blast of the season got away from them.