Stay Weather Aware Wednesday

Road crews prepare for busy night as first significant snowfall of the season hits

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Road crews are gearing up for a busy night with the first significant snow of the season.

Salt is being spread on roads and bridges on both sides of the state line. The engines are fired up, and Overland Park Public Works, like many city crews, is hitting the streets.

"Got my strobes on for the front and the rear," said Will Kline, an Overland Park Public Works truck driver.

Getting the salt trucks and snow plows road ready is a major task.

“It’s a big undertaking, but we’re kind of used to this every year,” said Cathy Wilson, Overland Park Public Works sector supervisor.

For the last several weeks, the city's gone over each truck with a fine-tooth comb making sure they're ready to perform when weather like this begins.

“We’ve had driver training over the past month, and we had a dry run on Oct. 30 where we put all our trucks to the test and then spend a couple days out in the field with our equipment, just making sure everything works properly,” Wilson said.

Kline is in his second year behind the wheel and looks forward to the winter season's start.

“I just want to do my part and get home safe and want them to go home and get where they need to go just as safe,” Kline said.

Crews start with salting bridges and overpasses, and late into the evening hours, they'll be hitting main thoroughfares, then working into residential streets.

“I’ve already got the spinner set up to go, so we are ready to rock,” Kline said.

While the team is skilled and up to the task, they need your help to stay safe and get the job done well.

“People think you’re going too slow so they’ve got to cut you off. They’ve got to get around you because they’ve got to get somewhere faster than you do. If they just take their time and let you get by, it’ll be less of a risk to them, less of a risk to us,” Kline said.

And these crews know the job they do is critically important and can even help stop serious crashes and save lives.

“Every little bit that we do goes a long way,” Kline said.

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