MoDOT prepares for winter weather, warns drivers to be cautious

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. – With winter weather expected to last throughout the holiday weekend, the Missouri Department of Transportation is prepared to be out on the roadways.

“We’ve been checking our staffing and getting ready,” said St. Louis assistant district engineer Mark Croarkin. “I mean, I’ve got a lot of guys itching to get them plowed and get out on the roads and drive.”

Most of the change in this weekend’s weather is expected to happen while you’re asleep.

“I’ve got southern crews starting into their building about 9 p.m.,” Croarkin said.

“And throughout the district it’s a little bit more like midnight that we expect to see snow falling across the area. Everything that we see is going to be melting pretty quick, so we are going to keep our crews focused on the primary routes.”

The department said it has checked, prepped, and approved 200 of its plow trucks.

Half of those will be spread out through southeast Missouri after midnight.

“We are primarily planning on plowing this event,” Croarkin said. “With rain coming in ahead of time, we can’t put any liquid treatment down before the storm because it would just be in the ditch and a waste of material.”

The department said that while they will be doing everything possible to keep you safe on the roads, they are asking everyone to take their time, while allowing truck operators to do their job.

“We have drivers that dangerously try to pass us,” said Pam Meador, a supervisor at the St. Charles maintenance building.

“We’ve had them pass us on the left and on the right and in between our gang plows and that’s going to cause an accident,” she said. “If you’re right up on us, we can’t do our job.”

MoDOT officials said they will also keep a close watch on all bridges throughout the night, especially the Blanchett Bridge.