Ride along as KDOT crews work 12-hour shifts to clear snowy metro roadways

Data pix.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- They could be called the unsung heroes of every snow storm.

Around the metro, snow plow drivers with MoDOT and KDOT working overtime to maintain the roadways.

Rick Looper, Highway Maintenance Supervisor for the KDOT division in located in KCK, works 12-hour shifts in his plow. His route is a 12-mile stretch up and down I-35.

"We can clear the roadway pretty quick. We just keep going until we can get it back up," Looper said. “Most times, we’ll start from the inside barrier wall and push everything to the right-hand side.”

Looper said the best training comes with experience. He has been with KDOT for 30 years now.

"Still doing it, still enjoying it," he said. “Each storm is different. You never have two that are the same.”

After three snow plows were hit in December, both KDOT and MoDOT are urging drivers to 'Don`t Crowd the Plow,' by giving trucks at least 100 feet of space to work.

Looper said, when cars fail to follow this advice, that is when their job gets difficult.

"That's when it gets really dangerous. Not just for us -  for the public. They really don't understand what it takes. These trucks don't slow down, they don't stop that quick," Looper said.

Once the roadways are successfully plowed and the snow stops, crews will begin treatment with salt.

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