MoDOT preps for winter season with annual statewide drill

ST. LOUIS - With the first flakes of the season in the forecast for Thursday night, you may have noticed more MoDOT vehicles on the roads today.

Beginning around 8 a.m. Wednesday, MoDOT was out testing their readiness for the upcoming winter season with a statewide winter weather drill.

This annual drill helps to make sure that everyone knows their roles during a winter storm so that they can do their jobs successfully. When winter weather hits, it takes more than thirty-five hundred employees to clear roads and bridges.

For Wednesday's drill, MoDOT employees reacted to a simulated forecast of significant snowfall for the entire state. They also inspected every piece of equipment. New employees were able to drive their plows over their designated routes to become aware of any obstacles they could face that may be hidden by snow or ice.

MoDOT spends more than 43-million dollars a year to keep roads and bridges clear. In an average winter, MoDOT employees plow about 6-million miles of snow and ice, which is enough to go to the moon and back 13 times.

While the potential for accumulating snow Thursday night seems early, St. Louis has had measurable snow as early as October 20th. However, the first measurable snow typically doesn’t occur until the first week of December.