HomeArkansas newsARDOT taking steps to prepare for the winter season

ARDOT taking steps to prepare for the winter season

Little Rock, Arkansas – With winter’s arrival just around the corner, officials at the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) are already gearing up to tackle the challenges that come with cold weather and its impact on road safety. This preparation involves a comprehensive plan to ensure that roads remain safe and passable during winter conditions.

Gearing Up for Winter

ARDOT is taking several proactive steps to prepare for the winter season. Deric Wyatt, a representative from ARDOT, highlighted the ongoing efforts to ready their fleet and personnel for the upcoming months. This includes refueling over 600 trucks, which are equipped as salt spreaders with snowplows, and ensuring they are in good working order.

In addition to equipment maintenance, driver training is a crucial aspect of their preparation. ARDOT is focused on getting employees familiar with the machinery they will operate, which involves practicing the routes they’ll be driving in snowy and icy conditions.

Salt Supply and Weather Strategies

One key aspect of winter road maintenance is the management of salt supplies. ARDOT ensures they have an ample supply, with 40% of the state’s salt reserved in Northwest Arkansas. The composition of the salt mix is adjusted based on temperature. For instance, as temperatures drop, they mix in additives like calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and even beet juice to enhance the effectiveness of the salt.

However, there are limitations to these methods. Wyatt notes that when temperatures fall below zero degrees, the ice-melting chemicals become less effective. In such extreme conditions, they often have to rely on natural elements like sunlight to aid in melting the ice.

Coordinated Efforts During Winter Weather

ARDOT’s strategy during winter weather involves constant communication and coordination with engineers, emergency management teams, and police across the state. This collaboration is crucial as each storm presents unique challenges, requiring a tailored approach for effective management.

Wyatt emphasizes that no two storms are alike, necessitating adjustments in their response from one storm to another. This flexibility and readiness to adapt are essential for ARDOT’s success in keeping the roads safe during winter.

Additionally, for the public’s convenience, local news channels like 40/29 News Sunrise offer live weather and traffic updates every morning. This ensures that residents are well-informed about road conditions and can make safe travel decisions during severe winter weather.

In conclusion, ARDOT’s comprehensive preparation and adaptive strategies are pivotal in ensuring road safety during the winter months. Their efforts, combined with public awareness and cooperation, play a crucial role in navigating the challenges posed by winter weather on Arkansas’s roads.

Olivia Martinez



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