Road crews across Missouri spent the day Wednesday testing their equipment to ensure it is ready for the winter ahead.This year is the first time the Department of Transportation has done a statewide winter operation. MoDOT had all 46 of its truck drivers out with snowplows to test for safety measures and to make sure all of their drivers felt comfortable driving specific routes.Last year, MoDOT spent about around $12 million on snowfall cleanup and this year could be more active with more normal snowfall totals.The agency says Wednesday’s drill helps them to get ready, especially after the record snowfall of 2011.”We have our own training system set up where we train them individually and you know, if they aren’t comfortable, we’ll get them more training until they are comfortable running that equipment,” said MoDOT area engineer Mike Schupp.Last year, due to the mild winter, the department only used less than half of their $42 million budget. They say if there is a lot of snow, it will not cut into their budget that much, because it just requires plowing of the roads. However, ice is their biggest concern because their salt trucks cost more to operate.MoDOT also wants to remind drivers to be safe this winter by slowing down and paying attention to both the roads and crews.
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