Snowplows working to keep roads safe.
Low temperatures make it challenging
Fifty snowplows cover Southwest Idaho Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
You don’t always see them, but that doesn't mean plows aren't hard at work. We've had a few viewers tell us they didn't see any plows Monday, but while most of us were sleeping, the crews were already hitting the pavement. You couldn’t drive from Boise to Nampa on Monday, without seeing a few slide offs. And its times like that, that it might seem like the snow plows we rely on aren’t doing their jobs, but that’s not the case.
“In Boise, Nampa, Caldwell and on the interstate we run a 24-7 operation,” said Tom Points, Idaho Transportation Department.
They cover 3,000 miles of roads, highways and interstates in Southwest Idaho. From the Oregon border to Glenn’s Ferry, and from the Nevada border north almost to Riggins.
“If it's snowing, like a large event for 24 hours, then we would have one 12 hour crew come in for the morning and plow for 12 hours, then they get out of that truck, and just gas it up, put more sand in it, and then another guy gets in it and drives the same truck,” said Points.
50 snow plows clear off those three thousand miles. It's a delicate balance of not only how they use their equipment, but also how and when they apply chemicals. Recent low temperatures don't help.
“Days like yesterday are very challenging for us. The temperature is a big problem, once it gets below 27 degrees,” said David Dansereau, Maintenance Foreman with ITD. “All of our salts and magnesium chloride aren't as effective, so it doesn't clear as well. And the lighter snow doesn't plow off as well, so we end up with more buildup on the road,” said Dansereau.
They are always keeping one eye on the weather forecasts and another on the lifesaving cameras along the interstate.
“We actually started planning for yesterday's storm the day before, making sure we had all of our trucks ready to go, knowing which areas we are going to start with first,” said Dansereau.