City preparing for snow storm

By: James Hopkins Email
By: James Hopkins Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - With the storm moving into the valley, city workers are gearing up to keep the roads clear. The day started out pretty quiet for this end of the Valley but a little after lunch the snow started to fall and it's slowly starting to stick. This means the city road crew could be looking at a very long night.

Dan Thorne is the equipment coordinator for Grand Junction and when bad weather hits he's got one goal. "Keeping the roads safe is the one thing we strive for down here," says Thorne.

This is the first major storm of the season and all supplies are stocked and ready to go. "The shed's full of salt and our mag tanks are full so we're really prepared to fight this storm," says Darren Starr, the city's Public Works director.

So far this fall has been pretty mild, which helps keep money in the pot for storms like this. "If we don't get hit in October or November it helps us financially," says Starr.

The city has a budget of about $100,000 for the road crew and with more than three quarters of the annual budget still left to spend, they don't have to worry when supplies run low. "We have plenty of dollars to get product to last us till the end of the year," says Starr.

Because on Jan. 1 the pot gets filled again which allows them to focus on more important things. "We may have some real icing issues, we may go out and pre–soak some of the bridges to try to do some preventative maintenance," says Starr.

Timing is everything. The bulk of the storm is forecasted to hit overnight which means less traffic to deal with and fewer headaches for crews. "We can get the roads cleared a lot easier and have it ready for the morning,"says Thorne.

So if you see the trucks out on the road, be courteous and try to stay away because these drivers hate these conditions just as much as you do. "Every year I hate it worse, I want to be somewhere warm," says Thorne.

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