Columbia road crews prepare for winter weather
Public Works officials conduct trial run of snow plow routes
Columbia crews spent Wednesday preparing for potential winter storms.
Columbia Public Works trained snowplow drivers, checked equipment and had drivers go through test runs of their snow routes to make sure everything was working before the snow hits.
Steve Sapp, with Columbia Public Works, said that this preparation is just as important as clearing the roads of snow to keep drivers safe during winter.
"We never stop thinking about snow," he said. "We start planning last winter."
Snowplow drivers are trained to avoid hazards in the road as well, like new roundabouts and the new diverging diamond interchange at I-70 and Stadium Boulevard.
Sapp said other drivers should stay off the roads while plows are out to ensure Public Works employees can work quickly and efficiently.
A new city ordinance makes it illegal to park in main roads when there are more than two inches of snow.
Those main priority roads, like Broadway, Providence Road and Scott Boulevard. are among the first roads to be plowed. After those roads are cleared, crews can move on to residential neighborhoods.
"Our plan is to do everything in our power to keep Columbia safe on the roads," Sapp said.
Sapp says Columbia and Boone County are plowed by three different agencies: the City of Columbia, Boone County and the Missouri Department of Transportation.
MoDOT is in charge of major roads like I-70, Highway 63, and Columbia's Stadium Boulevard, while Boone County will plow mostly county roads.
All three agencies have a "plows down" policy. That means when snowplows are on the road, they will have their plows down clearing snow despite who is in charge of the road.
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