Maintaining a clear path

Hannibal Street Department crew members use a loader and dump truck to remove snow on N. Main St. on Monday, Jan. 14.
Posted: Jan. 14, 2019 3:38 pm

Winter Storm Gia dropped about a foot of snow on the Hannibal area over the weekend, and crews at the local, county and state levels worked to clear the routes since the beginning of the storm Friday afternoon.

Hannibal Street Department crew members teamed with Hannibal Parks and Recreation employees to help clear routes across the city. Mike Schaefer, Marion County Highway Department supervisor, was out shortly before noon Monday operating a backhoe to remove snow on county roads. Throughout the region, Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) crews treated and cleared state highways and routes, with work continuing on secondary routes as well as sections of highway like U.S. 61.

U.S. 61 is mostly clear near Hannibal. U.S. 36 is also mostly is clear toward the central part of the state, according to MoDOT's online Travelers Map. Kevin James, Assistant District Engineer for the MoDOT Northeast District, said that plowing and treatment efforts prioritized major roads, and crew members focused on secondary roads and other cleanup tasks Monday.

"(Road conditions have) really improved a lot over the weekend," he said. "Every day, we're making progress on them."

Hannibal Street Department crew members continued treating and plowing roads throughout town. On Monday morning, crews used a front end loader to drop buckets of snow into a waiting dump truck on North Main Street. Main routes were mostly clear, but secondary roads were still partially covered in several parts of town.

Marion County Highway Department crew members used county trucks, backhoes and other implements to continue to clear the county's various rural routes and bridges Monday.

Officials agreed that motorists needed to remember to plan ahead and allow extra time for their commutes, buckle up and eliminate distractions such as cell phones while driving. MoDOT officials reported that although road conditions are improving, drivers should be aware of areas refreezing after sundown. The forecasted low temperature for Monday night was 26 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

James said MoDOT releases travel advisories when travel is unsafe. He said people heeded the advisories, helping MoDOT crews with their ongoing tasks.

Multiple fatalities occurred across Missouri over the weekend, but none in the Northeast District, and no crashes occurred between motorists and MoDOT trucks.

Some MoDOT crew members reported motorists driving too fast for conditions, and James reminded everyone to slow down during the challenging conditions that come with winter weather.

"Our goal is for everybody to go home safe," he said.

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