Roads crews already working hard during winter weather season


OMAHA, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - With cold temperatures in the forecast, cities and counties near you have a plan in place during winter weather season.

"We know how quickly the weather can change," said Jim Laughlin, highway maintenance superintendent for the Nebraska Department of Transportation. "We're ready to go. We have about 13,000 tons of salt ready for winter."

On Wednesday afternoon winds were whipping, trees were swaying and flurries were coming down in the Omaha area. Though measurable snow hasn't arrived yet, roads crews are already getting to work. NDOT has the heavy machinery out every week.

"With the humidity in the air and the temperatures dropping, we've been laying down brine on bridges. If you don't put brine on bridges, you'll get frost in the morning just like you have frost on the windshield," said Laughlin.

In Council Bluffs, the story is the same. Public Works has also been laying down brine on the city's bridges. So, what about when snow and ice are actually on the way? The streets manager at the department told FOX 42 News beet juice is ready to go. When combined with traditional salt brine, workers say it lasts longer and doesn't splatter.

Across the river in Sarpy County, roads crews have been planning for winter weather for months like a lot of other places.

"Between our snow plows and large vehicles, we have about 27 that take care of the entire county," said Denny Wilson, an engineer.

As a bonus, the facility where Wilson works is in good shape in terms of supplies because of last year's light winter.

"We have a lot of sand and gravel left over the from last year."

FOX 42 News also spoke to a few landscaping supply shops Wednesday afternoon. Unlike a couple of years ago, there's no concern to this point about any kind of a salt shortage.

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