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With more snow on the way, MDT gearing up to keep roads safe - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

With more snow on the way, MDT gearing up to keep roads safe

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(MTN News file photo) (MTN News file photo)

BOZEMAN - With the upcoming winter storm approaching over the next 48 hours, the city of Bozeman and the Montana Department of Transportation are gearing up with staff and trucks ready for when the snow starts falling.

Snow plow drivers are still trying to plow the streets from the past snow. They say they are trying to get the roads as clear as they can before this next system comes in. 

MDT says they have 56 plows in addition to the four tow plows in this district. They have reportedly already used more than 30 million tons of sand, 13,000 labor hours with approximately $580,000 in labor costs, and 230,000 miles of roads to plow.

“They'll work throughout the day keeping those roads plowed and cleared, and once they max out on their time, we can pull from other departments to continue on with the plowing operations through this storm event,” said Matt Workman, assistant street superintendent for the City of Bozeman. “We usually can get the residential streets done in about 7 days. This is going to take us a little bit longer with the major snow event that we've already had and with this snow on the way.”

Kyle DeMars, maintenance chief with MDT, says visibility, road conditions, and temperatures are all factors in determining when to close roads.

“But the main thing is, if it gets to be too dangerous for anybody to be out there plus ourselves, we are looking at closing the roads. Safety for the public first,” DeMars said.

The Montana Department of Transportation recommends travelers should always be aware that conditions change quickly during weather events in Montana and should always slow down and drive accordingly for current roadway conditions.

Click here for a link to the winter driving page which includes safe driving tips.

RELATED: Tips offered up to stay safe as winter weather hits Montana

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