Some Dubuque County roads still unsafe for driving - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Some Dubuque County roads still unsafe for driving


In cities throughout eastern Iowa, crews continue to improve road conditions by widening snow-covered lanes and spreading salt.

People driving in eastern Iowa's more rural areas, however, may find conditions aren't improving as quickly as they'd like.

Many of the rolling roads of Dubuque County still make for difficult driving.

Dubuque County engineer Bret Wilkinson said Friday afternoon that despite an all-hands-on-deck response to the blizzard by his crew, Thursday's conditions were extreme.

"It was very bad," he said. "A lot of deep snow, a lot of hard-packed snow that was very heavy and hard for our equipment to move."

Friday, although sunny, was still a challenge.

"Today we have several locations around the county that our normal plow trucks can't get through, and even a few areas that our V-plows can't get through, and it takes bad conditions for that to happen," he said of the aftermath.

As of Friday afternoon, the worst road conditions in the county were an eight-to-10-mile stretch of Old Highway Road, Wilkinson said, with the worst being just east of Centralia.

When it comes to clearing snow and driver safety, the center line in the road is key.

"It allows people to know where they are on the road, to stay in their lane and also to get two wheels on the road so they can stay on the road instead of going in the ditch," Wilkinson said.

Staying home and off the roads isn't just about people's safety.

"The more traffic out there, the harder it is for us to do our job and, in particular, this storm caused a lot of citizens to get their vehicle stuck," Wilkinson said. "Then that vehicle is in our way for our plows to get through and open the roads back up. Most of our delays yesterday were, in part, due to citizens being stuck in our roadways."

Crews are continuing to clear Dubuque County roads and spread a mixture of salt, sand and liquid chloride. Wilkinson said he still advises folks who live in the area to stay home and off the roads as much as possible so crews can clear efficiently.

City of Dubuque crews spent the day spot-checking roads and responding to calls from Dubuque residents with requests to plow and widen the lanes on their streets. That's according to the city's street and sewer maintenance supervisor John Klostermann. He said crews continue to work around-the-clock to clear the streets and he hopes the roads will be in good condition by late Sunday night.

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