After an unusual winter storm that hit Missouri on the first day of spring, it appears the snow and ice are finally behind us. Mother Nature kept Missouri Department of Transportation crews busier than usual clearing roadways this winter, with thousands of workers logging more than 23,000 hours on Christmas Day to battle a major snowstorm that blanketed most of the state.
Assuming we’re out of the winter weather woods for this year, here’s how the past snow season stacked up:
·Amount MoDOT spent on snow and ice removal: $49.4 million – that’s about 20 percent higher than the annual average of $41 million.
·Tons of salt used: 227,628 – roughly the same weight as 20,000 African elephants, five Titanics or the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship.
·Gallons of beet juice used: 260,986 – enough to fill more than 6,500 bathtubs.
·Hours worked by maintenance crews to keep roads clear: 631,443 hours, including 245,147 hours of overtime.
·Miles of roads MoDOT is responsible for plowing: 75,740 lane miles.
·Number of workers available for snow removal: 3,600
·Number of snow plows used: 1,613
An increasingly important tool in the annual snow fight is MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, which provides up-to-the-minute road conditions 24/7. The map helped draw more than a million visitors to MoDOT’s Web site in December, a record number.
Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, also provided valuable ways to send out road condition information and communicate safe driving tips for severe weather. Many Facebook fans and Twitter followers also used these tools to express their appreciation for the hard work of MoDOT crews. Here’s one example:
“A message to all MoDOT workers and your families – thank you so much for all the hours you have put in over the past three weeks as we have been hit with snow, ice and wind. You are very much appreciated by your “fans” here in northwest Missouri.”