The Ada County Highway District was active tonight, looking for snow and ice patches to remediate in order to keep drivers safe. They say they're ready to fight wintery roads.
"We do have trucks out in the field checking, especially in the foothills," said Nicole Du Bois of the Ada County Highway District (ACHD).
They'll try to stay a step ahead bad weather-- consulting with the national weather service to beat snow to the punch. They also have a limited budget... so are forced to prioritize their efforts.
The road outside your driveway is probably at the bottom of a long list of other things that come first. "Arterials and connectors, major intersections, overpasses and bridges, schools, hospitals, and fire stations..." are the priorities, among other government agencies that serve and protect the public. Then if they have resources they may apply them to neighborhood roads.
In their arsenal against ice, black ice, snow, slush and anything else putting slide in the ride: salt, magnesium chloride and sand. The sand is repurposed road rocks, so it comes with no cost to ACHD for giving drivers an extra shot at traction.
There are 30 major routes in Ada County that, if straightened out, would stretch from Boise to Washington D.C., says ACHD. Their drivers trace those routes before bad weather sets in so everything goes according to plan.
And if the road isn't safe, they have a contact form people can use to bring their attention to a problem. "People can report any problem that they see on the roadways," says Du Bois, "with traffic signals, signs, or anything of that nature, and we generally respond very quickly."