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Road crews struggling to get roads clear due to extreme cold temperatures

The Missouri Department of Transportation was busy most of Sunday clearing the roads from an early morning snowfall across Mid-Missouri.

While roads may be mostly clear, drivers could face some slick spots as the temperatures continue to drop through Sunday night.

Melanie Mayes, Assistant Supervisor at MoDOT Boone County/Columbia, said they had eight snow plows out on the roads starting at 5:30 Sunday morning. Mayes said their first priority was clearing I-70 and Highway 63 before hitting the local roads.

“We were fortunate enough that temperatures were cold and we had a strong wind, which worked in our favor because we didn’t have to use much salt or abrasive on the roads,” she said. “It works in a way to our benefit because it doesn’t make the road wet. Then we have to end up dealing with the refreeze issues once we turn that snow to water.”

Crews were able to clear the priority roads in Boone County by 2:30 p.m. Mayes said the sun helped with melting the snow and then later drying out the roadways. However, the extreme cold temperatures have prevented crews from getting the roads completely clear.

“We want to look out for snow pack that’s still on the roads,” she said. “As you leave an exit ramp, as you come to an intersection, you just want to take it extra slow. Be a little more aware of the snow pack that’s at these intersections.”

Many turning lanes throughout Columbia were still covered with a layer of snow Sunday afternoon. Mayes said turning lanes are another spot drivers should use caution while driving.

MoDOT crews spread a salt and sand mixture on the snow-packed roadways to provide drivers with extra traction.

Mayes said they do not plan to have crews on duty overnight, but will be on call if road conditions do become more dangerous.

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