Last week’s front page story regarding state road maintenance for snow and ice control was good information to know. Everyone has to use our highways during bad weather sooner or later. The snowplow drivers who were involved in the accident are great public servants doing a vital job at great risk many times. Thankfully no one was hurt. The news that there is an improvement in the snow and ice removal by the state using a 23.6% salt solution “along the interstate” is a leap forward, for those who only use the interstate. How about those of us who live miles from the interstate? Maybe I could offer another candidate of the 23.6% salt solution to be used on, to those who make these decisions. Highway 24, and other state highways, in the very early morning hours before those roads are hard packed snow turned into ice, weekends too. The use of the sun to melt roads sooner or later is not an acceptable plan any more. Many states such as Iowa and Illinois use a spray solution on all their highways that is even more effective than sanding or salt. Sundance is to be applauded for the replacement of sanding as their method of snow and ice removal. It’s certain numerous windshields in cars will be spared the chips caused by the gravel included in the sanding mixture spraying up from the rear wheels of other vehicles.
The state workers who do these jobs are not the decision makers as to how, what and when to service the roads. Many times these hard-working fellow citizens are aware of the needs of the public but not given much of a chance to meet them. Wyoming drivers are self-reliant, not wanting to be thought of as criticizing their friends and neighbors who do the job as they are directed to, so they adapt. Sometimes it is “that’s the way it’s always been done”. Road maintenance in the winter on the state highways in Crook County, all state highways – not just the interstate – could use a review and some changes in my mind to improve winter driving safety.