DETROIT – Clearing the roads of all the snow is a big job, and it’s becoming an even more challenging task with the ongoing worker shortages. Some Road Commissions have to look outside the department to get things done.
Plows have been out for hours at this point for nearly 18 hours straight in some places, trying to keep up with the snowfall that isn’t expected to taper off for another five hours.
Plows and salt trucks out across Metro Detroit are doing their best to ensure the roads stay as clean as possible. After a weekend of unexpected snowfall and another round of several inches to start the week.
All this snow means salt and a lot of it. We’re talking tens of thousands of tons. The domes seen in the video player above for Wayne County. It holds 10 thousand tons at its max, and standing in it feels like standing inside a canyon or cavern.
All the salt has to get out onto the roads to ensure things are safe and it’s not just Wayne County; In Oakland County, they think Monday, Jan. 24, could put their salt use for the season close to 30,000 tons even though we’ve had less snow than average this year.
“There’s a sort of a misperception that salt use is tied to total inch accumulation of snow,” said Craig Bryson of the Oakland County Road Commission. “And that’s not the case we’ve had this year, particularly a number of freezing rain incidents. We’ve had a number of very light dusting incidents. And those things require us to be out salting as well, and that really accounts for the amount of salt used.
Road Commissions have also dealt with driver shortages, with Wayne County calling in a few drivers from other departments.
“We can actually reach out to other divisions such as our construction division, bridge division, parks division in which we can pull some of our CDL drivers from there to help plow,” said Steve Shaya of the Wayne County Road Commission.
An all hands will be on deck for winter storms across all of Metro Detroit and when the snow finally tapers off tonight, crews will still be going because clean-up starts after this storm is over. When clearing out your driveways or sidewalks, one thing to remember is that it is illegal in Michigan to throw snow onto roadways. It also makes it more dangerous for drivers.