ODOT crews prepare for more snow Wednesday night - KPTV - FOX 12

ODOT crews prepare for more snow Wednesday night

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Transportation crews are working 24-7 as long as there is a threat of snow and ice.

Oregon Department of Transportation workers have been continuing to treat roads, and were starting to concentrate their efforts on highways Wednesday night for the next round of snow.

As the snow melts, ODOT workers are plowing the shoulders of highways to give the snow a place to drain, instead of going onto the travel lanes and freezing.

It isn’t perfectly smooth sailing for drivers, but compared to last year’s icy mess, people say the roads look good.

Emily Becker, who lives in the West Hills, says she’s happy to see what’s happening on the roads.

“Last year, because we live right on Burnside and we can see out the window, it was almost like watching bumper cars. There were cars sliding everywhere. There was tons of accidents. In fact, people would come to our house just for help,” Becker said. “This year, the roads have been clear. I think they’re salting or sanding. Much more impressive.”

ODOT is treating the roads with much more salt this year. They used 35,000 pounds of it due to Tuesday night’s storm. 

“I know it’s controversial, but I think for the safety of everybody it’s working,” Becker said.

ODOT spokesperson, Kimberly Dinwiddie, says salt is only used when their de-icing and plowing efforts no longer work.

Loren Hov, who moved from Maine, says he was concerned Wednesday morning but had no problems driving.

“I’ve definitely seen a lot of sand and some gravel. And I’ve seen a lot of melt. So that means they’ve done a pretty good job getting basic coverage. I’m pleased,” Hov said.

ODOT also laid down 41,000 gallons of deicer, something they continued to treat roads with throughout the day Wednesday.

Virgil Howell drives for Uber and Lyft. He says the roads were a little easier to take compared to last year. 

“They’re not as icy,” he said.

While ice was not a big problem on major roads late Wednesday afternoon, ODOT crews say they are still working 24/7 because of the threat of snow Wednesday night.

“It’s looking pretty orderly for a place that doesn’t get quite as much quite as regularly,” said Hov.

ODOT’s Dinwiddie says Wednesday was successful for both them and drivers because many people stayed off the roads.

However, Dinwiddie says they do want to remind drivers to watch Thursday’s commute and to not get complacent because each storm is different.

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