WashCo roads department preparing for worst, hoping for best
With winter weather ready to potentially wreak havoc over the weekend and into next week, the Washington County Department of Land Use and Transportation is gearing up, putting down miles of anti-icer and work 24-hour shifts if necessary to make sure roads are ready.
"What we're doing is preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," said Melissa De Lyser, public affairs and communications manager for the department.
Trucks that were out Wednesday spread more than 4,000 gallons of anti-icer (magnesium chloride laid down in a telltale pattern of straight streaks) throughout the county's 3,042 miles of roads.
De Lyser said county crews will be working three, eight-hour shifts Saturday through Monday to prepare for and deal with any inclement weather
Over the last several years, the county has designated three roads as "snow zones" — those upper elevations where traction devices are needed during adverse weather conditions.
Those include 175th Avenue between Scholls Ferry and Rigert roads; Barnes Road from 118th Avenue to the county line; and Cornell Road from Cedar Hills Boulevard to the county line. Motorists in those areas must use chains or snow tires depending on the road conditions.
And to make sure drivers take notice, the county has added solar-powered flashing lights to get motorists' attention this year, Melissa De Lyser said.
"If conditions warrant, we go out and turn on the lights," she said.
The goal, she said, is to make those snow zones are safe and free from abandoned vehicles.
For complete information on road conditions, snow routes, etc., visit wc-roads and click the "emergency response" tab.