Expect to see more MoDOT vehicles on roads Thursday for winter weather drill

Missouri News

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ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation has scheduled a statewide winter weather drill for Thursday.

MoDOT said the high turnover rate and open positions make this training “more critical than ever.”

“With nearly 20% of our plow operators with less than one year of experience, this training drill is important to be ready when snow flies,” MoDOT chief safety and operations officer Becky Allmeroth said.

“One of the most valuable parts of the drill is it allows our newest employees the opportunity to drive a snowplow over their designated routes so they are aware of curbs and raised islands that might be hidden in snow or ice.”

MoDOT said more than 70 employees have left every month for the past six months. MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna said the department is “several hundred employees below what [they] need in order to cover more than one shift in a statewide storm.”

The drill will begin at 8 a.m. in rural areas and at 9 a.m. in urban areas. It should be completed by approximately 3 p.m.

“The drill ensures that proper equipment, plowing techniques and safety measures are used by every MoDOT employee,” Allmeroth said. “In addition, every piece of equipment—every truck, motor grader, snow blower and tractor—is inspected and calibrated to conserve materials and operate efficiently and safely.”

MoDOT said they spent more than $58 million on winter operations last year and used over 139,000 tons of salt; 2.8 million gallons of salt brine; and nearly 490,000 gallons of beet juice. MoDOT has purchased 118,000 tons of salt to refill salt supplies and has a total of 240,000 tons available for use statewide this winter.

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