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IDAHO TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT'S WINTER MAINTENANCE
Winter Maintenance Overview of State Highways
CLEARING IDAHO'S ROADSMost of us can't put our lives on hold when it snows. That's why the Idaho Transportation Department strives to make winter travel as safe as possible on state highways. Although many drivers have watched snowplows clear the roads, there are some important facts you should know about snow removal.
HOW DOES ITD PREPARE FOR THE SNOW AND ICE SEASON?During the year, more than 400 ITD operations personnel prepare for the snow season by stockpiling necessary supplies. In the fall, the same trucks that have been used during the summer for stockpiling, patching and other maintenance operations are equipped with snowplows. Employees also receive training to operate new equipment.
HOW DOES ITD DECIDE WHICH ROADS TO CLEAR FIRST?ITD considers these factors for clearing roads in the state highway system:
• Traffic volumes
• Accident reduction
• Number of steep grades, sharp curves, intersections, ramps or potentially hazardous areas
• Availability of manpower and equipment resources
ITD applies liquid anti-icers to roads in many areas before a storm arrives. Once the anti-icing work is completed, ITD responds to winter storms as they occur and attempts to clear all roads as the snow begins to fall. However, in situations where a storm covers a large area, resources can be stretched beyond available limits. In these situations a system of priorities is followed to provide the best service.
Interstates and state highways that have the highest volume of traffic are cleared first. Workers continue to clear roads with top priority placed on the most-traveled roads down to areas with lower volumes of traffic.
Some routes, because of concerns for public safety, high difficulty and cost of winter maintenance, may be closed for short durations until manpower and equipment resources are available for snow removal.
The winter maintenance priorities on the state highway system are approved by the Idaho Transportation Board.
For more information in your area, please contact the appropriate District: