DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Department of Transportation crews are getting prepared to hit the roads again Tuesday as they prepare to deal with back-to-back storms.
With another blast of snow on its way early Tuesday morning, CDOT trucks will be out plowing and dropping ice slicer and magnesium chloride so commuters are safe.
Across the state there are 900 pieces of snow removal equipment to keep up with, which means a lot of coordination. Crews have been on snow shifts since Saturday and will continue to be through the next blast of winter Tuesday.
“Tonight we’re really going to be out watching bridges, overpasses, ramps; those icy spots that are very likely to form with all of the melting going on today,” Mindy Crane with CDOT said.
Breaking up ice packs along the highways and roads are one of the biggest challenges for crews following a storm.
“Back-to-back storms are a challenge because if we don’t have time to get the trucks that broke down in the storm before, to get them in and get them fixed,” said Steve Cordova, CDOT shop supervisor. “So we’re jockeying trucks around to keep the areas covered.”
Cordova says drivers who plow also maintain their trucks.
“A lot of the maintenance is done out in the field, but if the breakdowns come in here, we have approximately 500 pieces of equipment, and we have 11 field mechanics and six shop mechanics. So it becomes a challenge,” Cordova said.
That’s just for Cordova’s section of the state spanning from the Kansas state line down to Vail Pass.
“The biggest thing when the snow starts falling again is to really try to stay ahead of it and prevent that ice from forming and that pack from building up,” Crane said.
Mechanics say the actual plow and its hydraulics are what require most maintenance after a storm clean up.