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Road Crews Use High Tech Sensors To Keep Roads Clear

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4)- Denver Public Works crews worked overnight to keep the streets in the Denver metro area clear after it started snowing Wednesday evening. Crews will be out again Thursday evening as the second round of snow is expected to fall.

The initial snow that fell overnight was a little heavy but street conditions stayed relatively clear with much of the snow melting as it fell. The little accumulation that was there was cleared by road crews.

“The pavement temperatures are cooler but we are expecting them to be above freezing so when the first flakes fall they will melt,” said Denver Public Works spokeswoman Emily Williams.

Slushy and wet conditions remained through Thursday afternoon. Rain mixed with snow is expected to fall about 5 p.m. Thursday and it could last until 8 a.m. Friday.

Denver Public Works will deploy crews on the streets to keep conditions clear throughout the evening and during the morning commute.

“Everybody is trying to get home and driving conditions then can be a little treacherous and then we can’t move around cars, so when you see our plow coming and you have the capability to get out of the way, we really appreciate that but as soon as traffic clears we’ll be out in full force making sure that we get you home safely,” said Williams.

Many road crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation have built-in sensors that provide the driver with instant air and road temperature to make the decision about what to put on the roads.

Other crews rely on a computer sensing system that give them detailed information on a computer screen inside the cab.

“It sends out a report. It notifies us, ‘You need to put down X amount of tons of Iceslicer’ which is what we use to treat the highways or Apex, which is the liquid form to treat the highways as well,” said CDOT Driver Alan Martinez “It will give us a recommendation as to what time to put this out and how much we need to put out.”

Denver International Airport crews stopped deicing planes at 10:30 a.m. Thursday but were expected to resume the process once precipitation began again Thursday evening. They are expected to be in full deice mode through Friday morning.

DIA is not expecting any significant flight delays or cancellations due to the anticipated weather moving in Thursday into Friday morning.

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