April 18, 2014
1:17 pm
RAIN:  7AM to 7AM:  .00"    Month:  3.84”    Year:  10.81”   |  TEMPS:  High: 69  Low: 51
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State to improve snow removal in BXCO


     The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is continuing efforts to improve response in clearing ice and snow off area highways across the state and in the Twin Lakes Area.   Steve Lawrence, highway department engineer for District 9, which includes Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Madison, Marion, Newton and Searcy counties, says they are evaluating procedures and equipment needs as well as making changes in crew assignments.   He says while evaluating snow and ice removal in Missouri, they learned about "belly" plows which are placed beneath dump trucks and use the weight of the trucks to break up ice.
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     There are three "belly" plows in the district with one located in Boone County at district headquarters and two in Benton County.   Two more will be delivered in January with one coming to Baxter County and the other for Madison County, according to Lawrence.   He says other improvements to the state's highway department in Baxter County are planned.
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     Lawrence says the state is learning more about snow and ice removal from Missouri, however, they have more resources than Arkansas.    
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     It comes down to money, Lawrence says.
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     The early December storm was expensive, according to Lawrence, who says the district used 3,000 yards of salt.   The total cost to the district of materials only was $473,000 for this one storm.   So far this year, Lawrence says, they have spent nearly $500,000 compared to $284,000 spent in 2012 and $133,000 in 2011.   In 2010, Lawrence says the district spent $1,056,000 in materials for snow and ice removal.
     As far as damage to the state roads caused by the storm, Lawrence says it will be spring before they are able to make that assessment.

 

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