Monday’s bright sunshine helped melt ice and snow off many roads in Benton County after the weekend snowfall. Now road crews are prepared to clear the roadways that are less-traveled, so people can get around Tuesday after roads re-freeze overnight.
With the exception of a few slick spots, Interstate 540 was in mostly clear condition during the afternoon hours on Monday, as were many major streets in Benton County’s cities.
“We have had a huge stride today alone on our major roads, to where we’ve got our guys now concentrating on secondary and dirt roads, which we haven’t been able to do,” said Terry Nalley with the Benton County Road Department.
County leaders said crews got roads clear quicker than in previous snow storms this winter by using calcium chloride in their pre-treatment system.
“Putting that down first allows our plows and motor graters to cut through the ice better,” Nalley said.
Secondary streets that did not get pre-treated and are still snow covered.
“It does take some more effort to get those roads clear,” Nalley said. “As we move forward, my hope is to get more trucks available to have the pretreatment system for those roads.”
Nalley said crews are ready to go when roadways re-freeze overnight into Tuesday morning.
“We will get the salt and sand trucks back out to start doing those areas that might have refreezed first thing in the morning,” Nalley said.
Toby Brooks, a local man, said it will be important for crews to keep the high-traveled roads clear.
“It’s like a river or something, and if it’s not clear, you can’t get down these roads and nothing can move,” he said.
Brooks’ son Donavan said when road conditions worsen, drivers need to use caution.
“I don’t feel safe for everybody else,” he said. “I just feel it’s essential that drivers be careful.”
Nalley said drivers should take it slow on roadways, especially Tuesday morning.
“We will do our best to get everything as clear as possible, but there’s going to be re-melting and re-freezing. Drivers need to take precautions,” he said.