Department of Transportation prepares for snow - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Department of Transportation prepares for snow

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As flurries fall, Iowa Department of Transportation workers are on standby for our first big snowfall of the season.

Keep in mind, the same time in 2015, we already experienced the first big snowfall of the season.

So, with warmer weather than usual, DOT workers say they're ready to hit the roads.

Waterloo's Department of Transportation fleet of nearly 30 trucks are ready for work.

Their blades are sharp, systems are tested, and even salt is ready to be mixed, loaded, and dropped on roads and bridges.

"Everybody's used to getting back to driving in the winter and driving in the snow. We've had bridge frost already this year that kind of sneaks up on people. It's just something you've got to be ready for when the temps get down," Waterloo Iowa Department of Transportation maintenance supervisor, Barry Thede said.

Thede reminds drivers of slick bridges this time of year even before heavy snowfall.

Meantime, he's keeping a close eye on weather forecasts.

"Basically, we will start when it starts snowing, and we try to stay ahead of it as much as we can. But, obviously there are times when we're just doing what we can, and we're trying to keep the roads open," Thede said.

More than 5,000 tons of salt used on nearby roads last year, and Department of Transportation workers say they are more than prepared with enough resources for the first big snow.

"People need to understand out in the open country, we're not going to be putting a lot of salt down, because of the blowing snow just makes it worse, but our main roads in the city blocked by the wind, that's where we will be putting salt down," Thede said.

Thede said trucks are monitored by GPS, so the Department of Transportation can watch speed, location, and even how much salt they've dropped on roads. 

Thede says the system makes it efficient and safe for all Iowans..

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