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Columbia Public Works crews train for winter season

The Columbia Public Works Department hosted its annual training session for road crews on Wednesday, despite two snowfalls coming through town already.

The training usually takes place in mid-November, before winter weather typically hits Columbia.

Department supervisors said that crews train for different weather conditions throughout the year, but the annual training is a good time to work out any kinks and all of the members learn their routes or new policies.

Richard Stone, operation manager for Public Works, said that the two snow events before the training cemented the fact that winter does come to mid-Missouri and it’s good to always be ready to work.

“It cements that it’s real and that everything that you can do today to learn your route or learn where medians are, or parked cars could be, things like that, is really important because it’s better to look at it during the day when the sun’s shining versus when it’s 2 o’clock in the morning,” Stone said.

Stone said there are a couple of changes for road crews this year.

The city will now plow a portion of Mexico Gravel Road from Route PP to Highway 63, which used to be county territory.

The city will also use more environment-friendly products. Crews will use less of a calcium chloride mixture and more of the beet juice/salt brine mixture to help melt the ice and snow.

Stone said the calcium chloride mixture deteriorates the roadways.

The parking department will also be out on Wednesday, reminding residents on priority snow routes to make sure they move their cars when two or more inches of snow is expected.

According to city ordinance, a car will be ticketed or towed if it’s parked on a priority snow route because it blocks plows from properly treating the roads.

A parking ticket issued on a snow route costs $100.

To find out which roads are priority and secondary routes for the City of Columbia, click here.

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