ST. LOUIS - Missouri Department of Transportation officials caution that Monday morning's commute could still be a challenging one as crews continue to battle the most recent winter storm.
The department has 200 trucks and more than 500 staff members on hand, working around the clock, to clear roadways. After dealing with treacherous ice and a heavy winter mix, most interstates are still at least partly covered. Numbered and lettered state roadways still have a significant amount of packed snow.
"We are still expecting a significant snow fall this evening and early tomorrow morning, which will cover roadways again. In addition, frigid temperatures mean that any salt or other material we put down is much less effective. We will be out hitting this hard tonight, but tomorrow morning's commute could still be impacted, especially if snow continues to fall into the early morning hours," said Becky Allmeroth, St. Louis district maintenance engineer.
Officials are again requesting, if possible, that people avoid travel on Monday morning - or at least delay it until later in the morning.
"We appreciated that few people were on the roads today - it let us make some great progress on clearing the roads in preparation for tonight's second wave of snow. We understand that is much harder on Monday morning - but every little bit helps. If you must travel in rush hour, be prepared to give yourself plenty of extra time to get where you are going," said Allmeroth.
The department's primary focus during the storm will be plowing interstates and some major roadways. Once the snow stops and the interstates are becoming more clear, crews will move to major numbered state roadways. State lettered roadways are the lowest priority for clearing.
If you must travel, take your mobile phone and winter survival supplies. If you become stranded, stay with your vehicle and call 911. Be aware that emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you. Remember the following winter driving tips:
•· Wear your seat belt.
•· Slow down, and adjust your speed to the conditions.
•· Give snow plows plenty of room.
•· Keep your windshield and windows clear to help you see.
•· Be alert and remember that road conditions can change very quickly.
•· Allow extra travel time to get to your destination.
Stay informed about Missouri road conditions by using MoDOT's Traveler Information Map, available online at http://www.modot.org/ or through the smartphone app. The map offers current views of road conditions for Missouri interstates and highways. You can zoom in to a particular location, check live weather radar and view images from MoDOT's traffic cameras and message boards.
MoDOT also provides road conditions information through our Customer Service Center. Dial 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636) to speak to one of our customer service representatives. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.