ISHPEMING, Mich (WZMQ) – Adjusting to the snowy weather behind the wheel can be a tricky task, what’s even more of a puzzle is making sure these roads are safe to commute with. Roads through the winter can shrink and expand with drastic temperature changes and the Marquette County Road Commission faces this challenge every season. “So once the salt is in our barn it’s really used in two applications”, said Commission Manager Pete Duex.
They distribute up to 16,000 yards of sand to other locations for purpose of keeping the salt from freezing. Blending this mixture together lessens the amount of salt that’s wasted. The State of Michigan also has a gauge that tells these road managers what mixture to use, based on the ambient temperature of the road and the amount of snow falling.
Behind the wheel and driving an estimate of over 300 miles a day, Jim Bucholstz, says he puts a lot of wear and tear on the blade throughout the season, due to the massive amount of snow and the mixture of salt and sand.
Covering the 4 districts in Marquette County, they’ve got a lot of roads to cover, and they want to let the community know to take their time. “Just be patient, I understand you know I’m out there slowing everyone’s routine down but I promise if you stick behind me it’ll be a lot safer it’ll only take a couple more minutes to get to where you need to be”, says Bucholstz.
Safety is a big concern for these plow operators and they ask drivers to not pass them, even if they’re in the left lane. They do take up a large portion of the road and for good reason. Due to past crashes, they put lights on side of these blades to help drivers become more aware of these rigs plowing through snow. It simply takes them extra time to get to these roads. During this plowing season, keep a lookout for these trucks and be cautious of road conditions.