Snowy Roads Prompt Travel Advisory - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Snowy Roads Prompt Travel Advisory

Posted: Updated: Feb 4, 2014 10:31 PM
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Illinois Department of Transportation officials are urging motorists to stay off the roads unless travel is absolutely necessary.

Officials say motorists should stay put if possible until this storm passes.

It seemed like a lot of people were heeding that warning on Tuesday night. Traffic on the Centennial Bridge heading into Rock Island was much lighter than usual.

Still, there will always be some people who decide to brave the snow and hit the road, including a lot of truck drivers we checked in with at a rest area on I-74 in Henry County earlier in the evening.

They all told us they were being extra careful on the roads, slowing down and leaving plenty of space.

 

But many told us they were concerned about the other drivers on the road, saying it seems like a lot of them don't take the snowy situation as seriously as they should:

"Truck drivers are professional drivers so they know what to do in these conditions. It's the four wheelers that pretty much - you know - you might see them spin out here and there because they didn't slow down," said one truck driver, Harold Burton.

"Be just a little bit more intelligent than you usually are. You know, slow down, stop paying attention to your phone," advised another truck driver, Walter Wells.

For the most part, truckers we talked to said they were impressed with the road crews, and glad road conditions were as good as they were given how much snow had already fallen.

"Road crews have definitely been handling their business right through here," observed Burton.

"They've been doing a good job. I mean, they're staying on top of it," said Charles Mullen, another truck driver stopped at that rest area.

We saw a lot of Illinois DOT trucks out plowing, and salting ahead of time, to try to keep the roads as safe as possible.

Public works crews across our area are also out in force.

But several area public works departments tell us all of the snow and ice this winter has taken a toll on their budgets and equipment.

For example, Wapello's Public Works Director tells us they are running low on salt and sand at this point, and they've already spent more on that and on overtime for crews than they had planned to so they may have to cut spending elsewhere in the spring and hold off on planned street repair projects.

Monmouth's Public Works Director says they've already gone through about 300 tons of salt more than they would in a typical winter - and that has hurt the budget a bit.

And, while Fort Madison's Public Works Department is in good shape with salt, having gone through about half of their supplies, the director says overtime is killing their budget.

At this point, he says, the department will have to give up a piece of equipment to cover the OT costs.

Galesburg's Public Works Department equipment has been hit especially hard. The director says this winter has meant a lot of wear and tear on the fleet and some plows have broken down. But they've been able to fix them, and they were all running on Monday.

That was certainly a good thing because they were definitely going to be needed with all the snow expected from this system.