Officials To Meet On Icy Roads Following Controversial Photo
Transportation officials plan to meet up to discuss differences on how to treat icy roadways, after a photograph showing clear Missouri roads sparked controversy in Arkansas.
Roads were covered in ice after the region’s recent ice storm.
A photo was taken Sunday (Dec. 8) on U.S. 71 at the Arkansas-Missouri state line, showing Missouri to be clear.
The photograph spurred conversation on social media because Arkansas’ roads were not clear.
Arkansas Highway Department crews responded to the roads after the ice had already become packed, according to spokesman Danny Straessle.
Temperatures remained below freezing for days, not allowing roadways to thaw out.
The Missouri Department of Transportation used a salt mixed with beet juice to treat roads, while AHTD used sand and salt.
Arkansas and Missouri officials plan to meet in the next week or two to discuss different methodologies to improve clearing ice off roads during the next ice storm, according to Straessle.
“States to the north of us have more winter weather than we do,” Straessle said. “It is not cost-effective for the state of Arkansas to purchase specialized snow removal equipment that we’re only going to use once or twice a year.”
AHTD recently bought a tow plow and belly plow to use in the winter weather. The belly plow was used in the Harrison area, but had some technical difficulties, according to Straessle. The state may decide to buy more snow equipment next year.
AHTD crews attach snow plows and sand/salt mixture distributors to dump trucks.