ITD crews, including our most dedicated snow plow operators, look forward to the onset of spring. But, the new season brings new challenges. Spring is a time of transition, and fluctuating temperatures can make it one of the busiest seasons for our employees. As winter melts away, please be mindful of the below scenarios and take precautions.
Problems can pop up quickly — whether it’s a series of deep, tire-damaging potholes in the fast lane or massive mudslides that block key routes in just minutes. Responding to these situations can be challenging as crews switch from long hours of nighttime snow plowing to daytime repairs.
Some repairs — like patching potholes — have to be done with multiple treatments since they’re not as effective in cold weather. Other repairs may need to wait until trucks currently outfitted with plows can be converted to haul other materials.
This transition from winter to spring applies to drivers, too. You still need to be prepared for winter conditions, especially when traveling over mountain passes. Spring is an excellent time to change out wiper blades and check tires to prep your car for wet roads. Shadowed corners can be icy on cold mornings, and storms can mix rain and snow as you gain elevation. In periods of heavy rain, vigilantly watching for rocks or objects in the road can prevent a dangerous collision.
When the weather warms up, so does the desire to get outside. It’s important to watch the road not just for hazards such as fallen rocks and adverse weather conditions but to also take extra precautions and be on the lookout for motorcyclists, bicyclists, children at play and even wildlife.
As ITD crews switch to springtime tasks, make the switch too by planning for changing road conditions. Be sure to check 511.idaho.gov for alerts before you hit the road to stay safe while you travel.