District 4 preparing for shift to spring maintenance
The biggest storm to hit south-central Idaho came in the last week of December. But since the beginning of the year there have been only a couple short road closures.
Winter has been a little more sparse this year more than others making the regular snow-related duties a little less common and on a few occasions leaving ITD crews looking for a transition to spring maintenance activities.
“There hasn’t been a lot of snow. A lot of snow activities because of drifting but there wasn’t a lot of deposit,” maintenance coordinator Ron Robinson said.
“Just the dang wind has kept the crews hopping.”
Along with the regular winter duties of plowing, trenching, rotary work and winging shoulders crews have been regularly finding themselves busy with warmer-weather activities like pot-hole patching, crack filling, brooming and fence repair.
In the first sixty days of 2009, most of south-central Idaho has fallen greatly short of the 2-10 inch precipitation amounts normally seen this time of year. And, as opposed to previous years, there have been only two short-term road closures since last year.
Late-season snowstorms aside, brooming of highways and the first wave of truck changeovers were in full swing the first week of March.
Signs of spring have also hit the far north of D4 with early the threat of avalanche loosening the snow on Idaho 21 and rocks loosening and falling on Idaho 75.
“Already, the last few weeks with the warmer temperatures everyone has been busy with spring-like activities,” Robinson said. “I’ve already seen robins in my yard (in Hailey) for a couple weeks and they don’t usually show up until March.”
Meanwhile, planning for the spring and summer activities are in full swing. Already, plans of paving, construction needs and even ordering for salt and sand for next winter is already under way.