Crews work to clear roads for drivers

KSWO 6pm Newscast- First Half - VOD - clipped version

LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - Oklahoma Department of Transportation and City of Lawton crews spent the day clearing the roads. They started putting salt and sand mixtures on roadways on Wednesday when the roads started getting slick.

Crews said the weather Thursday afternoon, which was just above freezing, was like a dream for them. They said when it's colder the snow becomes more compact and gets harder which makes it difficult for them to clear, but this wet snow took the treatment and plows really well.

Dusty McCuiston, with ODOT, said on a four-lane highway they start with the right lane before removing the snow and slush on the inside lane. Once those are cleared, they then clear less traveled highways and shoulders.

"The more you get cleaned up off the road, the less chance likely it comes back and refreezes," he said. "It's more chance of it drying quicker."

McCuiston's been with ODOT for about 14 years and said clearing the roads is rewarding for him and the other crews.

"We like to be prepared, and if we can get out there, and it keeps somebody from going off into the ditch. [We] try to keep the roads where it's passable. It's a feeling of accomplishment."

Matt Sisson said they hit roads with a salt and sand mixture Thursday morning and kept treating it until it started clearing up. One they got the snow and slush off the road, Sisson said he changed his focus.

"I've just been pretty much salting the bridge," he said. "Just trying to keep it from getting slick."

City officials said they have seven trucks across the city treating the main roads which are more then they've had in the past. Besides the salt trucks, they also used a grader as a snow plow to help move the snow and slush off the roadways.

Sisson is thankful drivers gave him plenty of room to do his job, but he asks that they slow down and to make sure they get where they're going.

"A lot of people, they don't understand that it's snow, but there's ice underneath it, and just last night there were quite a few wrecks," he said.

Both crews are pulling 12-hour shifts. They will work overnight to keep the roads treated and safer for drivers.

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