As winter weather makes its way to the Ozarks, the Branson Public Works Department is prepped and ready to go for any weather that may impact local roads.
Winter weather preparation actually starts months in advance. That’s when employees make sure all salt/rock and parts are ordered and plow drivers are assigned routes and practice those routes.
The City of Branson has a team that monitors incoming weather. At the sign of any freezing precipitation, city plow drivers will immediately pretreat bridges and other high propriety areas.
When ice and snow are predicted, the City will call in 30 personnel from four different departments. These employees will work 24-hours a day, on rotating 12-hour shifts, on the City’s 13 different routes. Branson City crews clear and maintain approximately 250 lane-miles of roadway inside its boundaries. Every city-owned street will get cleared of snow.
The City has two salt barns that, when full, have a combined total 1,200 tons of material that includes road salt, rock ships and, mixed material. The City also has the ability to produce salt brine, beat juice and calcium chloride mixtures for pre-treating roadways.
Interesting facts from the 2018-2019 snow season:
The work doesn’t stop after the streets are cleared and the snow has melted away. After each snow event, it takes about three days, with a crew of eight people, to get everything back to normal. This crew prepares for the next snow event by emptying trucks, mixing materials and refilling those materials into the salt barn. Several crew members, along with street sweepers, will also clean excess material left on the roadways and sidewalks around town.
Street crews remind drivers to slow down in winter weather and make sure to give salt trucks and other City vehicles plenty of space to operate.