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Officials say gravel is trickier to treat than pavement during snowy conditions

Roads across mid-Missouri are slick on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.
Roads across mid-Missouri are slick on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.


As winter weather continues to batter mid-Missouri roads, public works departments express the difficulty of treating rural roads.

Director of Cole County Public Works Larry Benz said the snow from Wednesday morning's storm is starting to melt off the roads, so there isn't much clearing left to do.

Benz said crews have to treat gravel roads differently than paved roads because of the way the chemicals react with the road itself.

"The salt interacts with the clay and it actually softens the road up too much where it makes it hard to drive through it," Benz said.

He said the department usually tries to plow gravel roads but said gravel tends to be easier to drive on in snowy conditions because it adds traction.

"We try to limit how much we put on those roads just to not take it to one extreme to the other," Benz said.

He said the county's snow routes are their paved roads which are the priority. After those are plowed, crews check on the gravel roads.

Benz said the department works with the school districts in the county to make sure they are on the same page when it comes to school cancellations.

"We ask that the school districts notify us when and if they are going to cancel school or if they are going to do a late arrival or early dismissal," Benz said. "That way we can make sure we can get out and be over as many of our roads as we can be over"

Cole / Top Stories / Top Stories / Weather / Weather Alert Day / Winter Weather

Connor Hirsch

Connor Hirsch reports for the weekday night shows, as well as Sunday nights.


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