MoDOT and IDOT prepare roads for winter weather Friday night

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ST. LOUIS – Road crews on both sides of the river are getting ready to battle the winter weather heading to the St. Louis area Friday night.

Thousands of tons of salt at the St. Louis City Streets Department Headquarters’ salt pile are just waiting to be used. City officials said 35 to 40 city trucks will hit the streets of St. Louis once the storm moves in. The city is not pre-treating due to the potential for rain coming in before the snow and washing away the treatment. 

Road crews got a warm-up for this storm last week when a round of winter weather hit the region. MoDOT has been treating roads ahead of this storm. I’m told modot workers spent the last two days putting down salt brine. MoDOT will have its full crews out for the storm. That means about 200 MoDOT trucks could be out on roadways. However, MoDOT is warning that it may longer than usual to clear roads because of staff shortages due to turnover and illnesses including COVID.

Across the river, Joe Monroe with IDOT said his crew pre-treated bridges Thursday and put some additional treatment down as well. Monroe said he doesn’t plan to do any more pre-treating. Instead, he is going to have crews put salt down when the expected rain starts ahead of the snow. He says the salt mixed with the rainwater will make brine for essentially another round of treatment. Monroe expects to have 140 to 150 trucks out in the storm.

“We’re in pretty good shape with the forecast,” Monroe said. “There’s not an obscene amount of snow or, you know, really cold temperatures. It’s kind of coming in…since it’s coming in overnight Friday night into Saturday that kind of helps us out. There are a lot of things that allow us a little bit more flexibility than if it was coming in on a Monday morning commute or Monday evening commute.”

Monroe said he also has some staffing shortages including workers out with COVID, but he is confident that his crews will be able to successfully cope with the storm.

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