Keeping the Roads Clear

Weathering The Storm

Road crews work hard throughout the winter season to keep our roads safe, but it isn’t as simple as sending the snowplows out there. Jack gives us an inside look at how it’s done.

What may look like a scramble to clear as many roads off as possible, is actually a well-choreographed process of sending out the right number of trucks with the right equipment at the right time with the goal of being proactive to the event.

Some of the factors we look at are temperatures, not only air temperature, but more importantly road temperature, timing of the event, precipitation amount and type” -10 seconds

With the goal of being as proactive as possible, a salt brine may be used to pretreat the road while the temperature is still relatively warm, before switching to a calcium chloride solution when the temperatures are even colder.

Cory Conrad, Operations Manager for Champaign Public Works says that early treatment is important.

“If you get that on there prior, then it prevents the bond to the pavement, so when the plows come it, it’s going to peel right up,” said Cory.

All roads will eventually be cleared, but our main routes, highways, and interstates will be tackled first in the interest of public safety.

“We’re going to get those down to bare pavement before we move on to secondary routes.  The idea behind that is that everybody should be within a certain distance of a main route so you can get to school, get to work, get to a hospital.

Within the city of Champaign, you have Champaign city crews, township crews, and IDOT.  All these crews have their own jurisdiction and routes, so it may be confusing wondering where they are going.

“You can see a truck, it may not make sense to the average person, why didn’t you just keep on going, but it’s probably because it’s not our road to be taken care of.”

It may not always make sense the routes they take, but what does make sense is safety.

“Everybody just help each other out.  Be cautious.  If you don’t have to travel when it’s bad, please don’t.  That allows us more time and more freedom to get those roads in a condition that is safe for the public to travel. 

Over one thousand plow drivers will clear the roads across the state this winter.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.