How does Mesa County keep roadways safe during a storm?

Follow along to learn how Mesa County Road and Bridge tackle icy and dangerous road conditions.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 5:38 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Plow truck drivers are braving tough weather conditions to keep Mesa County residents safe during this week’s storm.

Kevin Holderness works in the county road and bridge department and has been working to keep roads clear since Tuesday night. By 1 a.m, all hands were on deck to tackle the roads.

Before a big storm, workers are sent across town to various areas like 29 Road, 38 Road, and East Orchard Mesa. Trucks will use what’s called “wet solution” that includes magnesium chloride and other elements to prepare for icy conditions.

In the case of snow, Holderness says the team operates 11 trucks to plow snow and salt the roads.

A mixture of salt and limestone fragments called chat stone is sifted together to be used by the plow trucks. Chat stone is small enough to not get kicked up by tires, so it saves some wear and tear on your car. It’s also heavier than sand, so it doesn’t blow away as easily.

Drivers should still wash the sand mixture off their cars after a big storm.

“It’s salt, it’s corrosive. Magnesium chloride is less corrosive, but still corrosive. After an event, I would encourage everybody to go wash their vehicles just like we do here at Road and Bridge. You want to make them last.” Holderness said.

It’s important to be careful on icy roads by driving slowly, but also leave plenty of room for the snowplows.

“That blue light that’s on the snowplows makes them an emergency vehicle. They deserve the room and everything that that they need to make a turn,” said Holderness.