BOISE, Idaho — Treating roads in winter conditions is a yearly routine for agencies like the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) and Ada County Highway District (ACHD), but every snowstorm is different.
"What it does require differently is watching for the weather and the different conditions the road temperatures, the air temperatures. It's all different based on which winter storm is coming through," said Jennifer Berenger, Deputy Director of Maintenance for ACHD.
The forecast calls for more snow and colder temperatures for the foreseeable future.
"When we have these periods of where we have sustained cold for long periods of time, that road isn't going to be as warm as it is a lot of times here in the valley so this past storm and what we're going to see into the next few weeks is those sustained cold temperatures that are going to make the ground continue to be cold so icing is definitely going to be a concern in the evening hours," said Berenger.
Tips before you hit the road:
- Clear snow from the windows, hood, and roof of your vehicle.
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas, or at least a half tank.
- Keep water, snacks, and blanket in your vehicle in case you get stuck for a prolonged period of time.
Tips for driving in winter weather:
- Don't rush - give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Slow down - driving too fast may cause you to slide and lose control.
- Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you as your stopping distance may be longer on snowy and icy roads.
- If you see a snowplow, don't crowd the plow or pass it on the right as there is a blind spot for the plow operator.
The ACHD is prepared for more snow.
"The crews are on alert. We can do 24/7 operations, we have 153 team members who are on call or on standby, 64 total units with 44 of them equipped with plows, and all the material we need to sustain for a 'snowmageddon' type of event," said Berenger.
You can get the latest road conditions and closures from Idaho 511 via ITD.