The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that weather predictions for Central Missouri mean motorists should prepare themselves for potentially snowy or icy roads over the next few days. Crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation are prepared and ready to treat Missouri highways if and when the ice and snow comes.
During a winter weather event, MoDOT adjusts its practices to deal differently with each storm and tries to return roads to near-normal driving conditions as soon as possible after a storm’s end.
MoDOT is responsible for clearing approximately 8,228 lane miles of state highway in the mid-Missouri area and has set priorities for which roads to clear first.
Priority 1: Roads with the highest traffic volumes are cleared or treated first. These include interstates and other major routes, which receive continuous treatment throughout a storm.
Priority 2: Lower-volume lettered and numbered routes are cleared next. Traffic on these routes may be impeded until higher-volume routes are open and clear.
Even after all the roadway surfaces are as clear as possible, MoDOT’s work is not done. Workers must clean up the accumulation on shoulders, bridge edges and at interchanges. This work is usually completed during normal working hours.
Although MoDOT works hard to clear roads fast and make them safe for motorists, it is also the motorist’s job to drive cautiously, pay extra attention to signs and drive defensively.
MoDOT encourages drivers to remember the following tips when driving during winter weather. During the Trip:
· Obey speed limits; don’t speed.
· Use common sense, and adjust your speed to suit driving conditions.
· Give snowplows plenty of room, and try not to pass them when conditions are poor.
· Always wear your seat belt.
· Remember that driving is most hazardous when temperatures are near 32 degrees.
· Watch for other vehicles having problems with road conditions.
· Keep mirrors, windows and lights clean; keep your lights on.
· Don’t pass other vehicles on or near bridges.
· Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
· If you don’t feel comfortable driving, park at the first safe place.
Before you travel, log onto modot.org/central to view an online Traveler Information Map, which gives an up-to-the-minute view of weather-related road conditions for major Missouri highways. Motorists can also call MoDOT’s customer service center for road conditions at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636). The toll-free phone line is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.