State road crews prepare for winter weather - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

State road crews prepare for winter weather

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

It's just a matter of time before today's roadways turn into snow covered paths only wide enough for a snow plow. While most drivers dread the thought, there are those who welcome the white stuff.

Before the weather turns bad, crews with the Iowa Department of Transportation are shaking the rust off by putting on their plows and checking their equipment. All this preparation begins in October.

"As it gets close when the guys have to start looking through the hoses, the hydraulic hoses and make sure they're good, checking the spreaders, and doing things like that and just getting all that stuff ready," Pete Hjelmstad, Field Services Coordinator for the Iowa DOT.

The Iowa DOT will once again be using the tow plow in the Cedar Valley. This plow swings out from behind truck and is able to clear almost two and half lanes. It's not the only innovation to be used this year.

"This garage in Waterloo does have GPS units where they can track the trucks and track the amount of material they're putting on the road. That way you can see the effectiveness of everything and it's all an effort to obviously be as effective as we can and to just use our dollars as best we can," said Hjelmstad.

Safety is also a prime concern during this time of year for all who decide to hit the road.

"Check on conditions. Give yourself extra time and www.511ia.org it is a great website to get the road conditions," said Hjelmstad.

The first snow is always the most dangerous as drivers aren't used to driving during slick conditions, so be prepared to slow down.

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