MoDOT, IDOT crews pretreat roads ahead of snowfall

Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 6:24 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Road crews with MoDOT and IDOT spent the day pretreating interstates and major roadways with liquid salt brine, ahead of forecasted snowfall Monday night and Tuesday morning. MoDOT officials spoke about their response to the pending snow event at a press conference Monday afternoon.

“All MoDOT crews are working 12-hour shifts. And we will be focusing on interstates and higher major roadways,” said Michelle Forneris, assistant district engineer.

While state transportation departments may be prepared for the first snowfall to impact a rush hour, some drivers told News 4 they’re not prepared for winter weather.

“I am not prepared at all, hopefully I can stay home and stay safe,” said Clayton Miller.

Both MoDOT and IDOT are experiencing staffing shortages and have fewer snowplow drivers this winter than they have had in the past. Joe Monroe with IDOT district 8, in the Metro East, said he’s working with between 10% and 12% fewer drivers. After treating roads early in the day he sent drivers home to rest up.

“What we’re trying to do is be very cognizant that we have our existing staff stretched rather thin,” said Monroe.

According to Forneris, MoDOT typically has around 3,400 drivers for winter operations statewide. But she said this winter the transportation agency was down almost 1,000 workers. She said the lack of drivers means it’ll take longer to clear the snow from highways.

MoDOT district maintenance engineer, Bob Becker, said crews will be working 12-hour shifts. And that once the snow starts falling, trucks will be treating the road with chemicals.

A spokesman for the City of St. Louis said its street department pretreated bridges in anticipation of snowfall. He said as snow accumulates overnight, snowplow crews will be on standby to respond and clear the major thoroughfares