With the National Weather Service issuing a Winter Storm Warning for our area, WEMU's Lisa Barry checks in with Jim Harmon, director of operations for the Washtenaw County Road Commission, to talk about efforts to keep local roads as clear and safe as possible.
Washtenaw County Road Commission director of operations Jim Harmon states that preparations for the coming winter storm are underway. Trucks are being serviced, salt is being loaded, and crews are expected to report by 3 AM Saturday, which is when the storm is expected to start.
Starting tonight at 8 PM, Washtenaw County's "four-person, night road crew" will head out to the surrounding highway systems, such I-94 and US-23, for preliminary work. All other crews will begin work between 3 AM and 4 AM Saturday and continue throughout the day. By Saturday evening around 8 PM, the night crew will return roads to keep any melted ice and snow from refreezing overnight. Cleanup of any secondary roads will continue through Sunday.
For those who call the road commission to ask why the plows haven't arrived yet, Harmon assures Washtenaw County residents that crews are on top of everything. But he says to keep in mind that they "can't be everywhere." Some of the trucks have to make multiple rounds on some major roadways, and potential traffic crashes and incidents could slow them down.
Some good news from Harmon is that, due to the relatively calm winter season so far, the commission's yearly budget is ahead of schedule. It has allowed them to fix potholes and remove dead trees earlier than normal.
Harmon asks residents to, if possible, to stay off the roads this weekend. Otherwise, he simply says, "Be safe, everyone!"
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