ODOT Works Through the Day, Night to Improve Road Conditions
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) had its fleet of snow plows out in full force Wednesday.
Troy Travis, Maintenance Division Engineer for ODOT, said he was surprised by the amount of snow that fell in Sequoyah County.
“We were looking forward to an inch or less of snow this morning,” he said, “and starting about nine o’clock, we started getting quite a bit more.”
Travis said his crew of 150 people were out clearing the roads in eight Oklahoma counties. His department recently got new equipment, making the snow removal more efficient.
“This last year we’ve gotten three new graters and about 15 new trucks and all new spreaders and snow plows,” he said. “We have much better equipment to fight this storm than we would’ve even just a year ago.”
Dale Currie was driving from Muskogee to Georgia on Wednesday. He said he was hoping for clearer conditions as he traveled further away from the winter storm.
“From the Muskogee Turnpike it was pretty much one lane all the way til you get to (Interstate) 40,” said Currie. “Once you get to 40 about half way here, it’s iffy on the left hand lane at times. A little bit of build up there.”
Travis said the biggest challenge his crew will face overnight is the nearly freezing temperatures.
“The problem is it’s sitting there fluctuating right there at that 32 degrees,” said Travis. “You don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with. You don’t know if it’s going to be rain, sleet, freezing rain or snow.”
If the area is hit with freezing rain, Travis said they’ll treat the roadways with a solution to prevent them from icing over. If they face snow, they’ll use snow plows to clear the roads then spread sand.
“Just leave a lot of distance between the vehicle in front of you, and just take it easy,” advised Currie.