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County road crew battle snow-covered roadways

Buchanan County road crews are battling tough winter conditions to keep roads clear

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 11:53 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) After numerous winter storms and sub-zero temperatures, the challenge is on for Buchanan County road crews to keep roads safe.

"The roads are a little bit messy right now," Scott Burnham, Eastern Buchanan County commissioner said.

Burnham said the temperatures play a big role in the quality of the roads.

"The thawing and the freezing are really hard on our county roads," Burnham said. 

The county is responsible for over 430 miles of roadway within its boundaries, about half of those roads are chip-sealed while the other half is gravel. Each road surface requires a different approach when it comes to treatment.

When it comes to the softer gravel roads, county road crews avoid plowing them.

"We can actually do more damage on the gravel roads trying to blade the snow off than the good that we're trying do," Burnham said.

"What we'd do is go in there and just tear the road up basically," Hook said. 

Instead of using salt, on these roads Buchanan county ops for an alternative compound.

"We use some Haydite and some sand," Burnham said. "It's really more for traction than it is melting."

Another issue county roads have to deal with is snow drifting, with many of the roads covering wide open spaces.

"We're not just talking about a foot or two of drifting," Hook said. "We hit five to six feet of drift sometimes depending on where it's at."

As these sub-zero temps continue roads crews want people to be patient

"Just be patient with us we're gonna get to you," Hook said.

For inquiries about road conditions throughout the county call 816-271-1503.

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A strong cold front has pushed through northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. For tonight, we'll see clear skies as overnight lows drop down to the middle 50s. We could wake up to some foggy conditions on Monday morning, but it will be a sunny & nice day for the first day of fall.
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