The cold blast of winter air over the weekend is now bringing in the first statewide forecast for winter precipitation beginning Monday afternoon and continuing overnight. Accumulation of one to three inches is possible and could affect Tuesday morning’s commute.
The Missouri Department of Transportation warns drivers that even a small amount of snow on the pavement can cause slippery conditions and impact travel, especially on elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses. Slow down and allow yourself extra time if you must drive.
MoDOT crews will be out ahead of the storm and will continue working overnight. The primary focus will be to address winter weather on interstates and other major high-volume highways. After the precipitation ends and the high primary routes are mostly clear, crews will focus on the lower volume number and letter state highways. With this being the first winter weather of the year, crews will be doing training for the new drivers during this storm.
Despite the department’s best efforts, it has not made progress filling the winter operations vacancies. “With years of high turnover, we are nearly 30% below the staffing we need in order to cover more than one shift in a statewide storm,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT chief safety and operations officer. “With this statewide winter storm, we will not have enough employees to fill all the trucks on the second shift. It will take longer to clear the roads especially the lower volume number and lettered roads.”
Check current Missouri road conditions on the Traveler Information Map at www.modot.org, or through MoDOT’s smartphone app, available for iPhone and Android phones. You can also find road conditions and warnings by following MoDOT on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak with a customer service representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.