February 26, 2015

Central Office

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Southwest District
Southwest District at Work
Kelly Lucas  

Snow Plows

OUTREACH (above) – MoDOT Right-of-Way Director Kelly Lucas helps a Women in Engineering student at Logan-Rogersville High School with an exercise in acquiring right-of-way for a fictional MoDOT project. The Women in Engineering program is an outreach effort as part of the Project Freeway: U.S. 60 Rogersville design/build project. (Photo/David Mitchell)

PUSHING SNOW (upper right) - A pair of MoDOT snow plows clear turn lanes and intersections along Route 13 (Kansas Expressway) in Springfield during last week’s snow fight. See story below about the district's first major snow storm of the season.

AND THAT MEANS… (lower right) - Assistant District Engineer Dan Salisbury outlines to the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization (JATSO) how the recently-approved Missouri’s 325 System will impact the Joplin area. (Photo/David Mitchell)


Dan Salisbury

First Major Snow Storm of the

Year Pounds the SW District

Thank you sign
A message of appreciation for MoDOT snow removal efforts on a McDonald’s restaurant sign during last week’s snow fight.

The first major winter storm of the season hit the Southwest District earlier than expected and packed a punch on Feb. 15-17.

Parts of the district received as much as eight and one-half inches of snow.

“It was a tough night,” said District Maintenance Engineer Michael Middleton talking about Sunday night, Feb. 15.

He said they expected the weather to arrive around 10 p.m., Sunday, and the prediction was it would come primarily as snow.

Instead, the storm arrived several hours early and it started as sleet.

“We got caught off guard a little,” said Middleton. “We didn’t expect much sleet and no accumulation before 9 or 10 p.m.”

But snow plow crews responded quickly. There were 285 trucks on the road pushing snow on the district’s routes designated for continuous treatment and hitting hills and curves on the non-continuous routes.

Facebook posts
Many MoDOT customers posted thank you comments to the Southwest District's Facebook page.

The initial storm lasted about 15 hours before the sun came out, first in Joplin and then in Springfield a few hours later.

When that happened, pavement temperatures jumped 20 degrees in a short amount of time.

“When the sun came out,” Middleton said, “it just didn’t take long to get the continuous routes to a mostly clear condition."

Crews had little time to rest, because a second round of snow covered parts of the district with another two inches on Wednesday.

“With every storm we learn something to make us more efficient and better,” said Middleton. “We find things to tweak and do better.”

He may get to put some of those lessons to work again soon. Weather forecasters are predicting more chances for snow in the next few days.


For more info

Jennifer Williams
Customer Relations Manager
Southwest District

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