SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) - (02/12/19) - Michigan Department of Transportation maintenance crews will be working around the clock to clear the way after our latest blast of winter weather.
Around 50 drivers are out in full force in Saginaw and Isabella counties where MDOT owned trucks operate. The day shift started at 4 a.m.
"You're watching traffic, you're watching pedestrians, you've got snow dust, you're watching cars behind you so nobody rear ends you, watching traffic lights and everything else," explained Transportation Maintenance Supervisor Paul Ruegsegger.
Bottom-line, there's a lot going on in the cab of a snow plow as they work to clear the roads.
"When the snow's flying around us, lot of times you can't see what's right next to you for a minute. It'll be in and out, so the further you stay away from us, the safer it is for you," said Paul Selvidge, a lead worker with MDOT.
Selvidge and Ruegsegger work out of the Westside Maintenance Garage in Saginaw County.
When they're up against snow, ice or both, their days begin inside before heading out. "We sat down this morning, kind of ran a quick overview, little five, ten minute briefing. In trucks, out on the roads, and then let these guys do what they do best," Ruegsegger said.
Each winter storm is different so that meeting helps them decide how they can best clear the roads.
This storm is fairly straight forward, however our recent ice storms were a challenge.
"I would much rather have the snow. The motoring public works so much better when it's snow than it's ice," Selvidge said.
If you are clearing your driveway, maintenance crews ask that you not push it into the road. It also helps when you back up as they approach. If not, they have to slow down.
Other advice these veteran workers want to emphasize is to share the road.
"Just be patient with us. We move at a slower pace than you for a reason. And give us all the room that you can," Selvidge said.
"If you really don't have anywhere to be, please stay home. Keep the roads for us, give us room," Ruegsegger said.
MDOT uses the MiDrive plow locator to let you know where their trucks are operating. Click on the 'Related Link' with this story to be directed to MDOT's website.