FORT SMITH (KFSM) - The Arkansas Highway Department is gearing up for a wintery mix this season by adding two hundred more drivers to its staff. They're also getting out on the roads Friday (Nov.14) in our area.
Crews will start pre-treating the roads with sand ahead of the wintery mix expected to move in. "We ordered around 5,000 tons," said Chad Adams with the Arkansas State Highway Department. That's enough sand for seven counties spread out in ten different areas in Arkansas this winter season.
"Previously we had shot a mixture of sand, salt, calcium chloride," said Danny Strassle with the Arkansas State Highway Department. "A three part mixture if you would and got varying results out of it."
But this year, crews will be using a mixture of sand and beet juice to make sure the roads get cleared properly. "Everybody's magic liquid," said Adams.
According to Adams, "We will also do other main routes throughout the district and we are getting our equipment loaded and prepared."
Hundreds of snow plow drivers in the southern district area are gearing up to hit the streets. All the spreaders and liquid we need should be prepared and ready to go said Adams.
Crews said now it's just time to sit back and let mother nature put them to the test. "The main thing we do is get everything loaded and run it through a test to make sure any kind of problems happen before the event comes," said Adams.
According to Adams, the department has also ordered new equipment to be used that will be in next spring.
The highway department said they plan to hire an additional 200 drivers in the Little Rock area. If it's successful. they'll plan other hiring events like it in other parts of the state.