Plowing a Path: Highway crews working long, consecutive days to clear the roads

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – Some people are lucky enough to take a snow day when the roads are too dangerous, but what about the crews that make travel possible for us?

Road crews have worked consistently for 14 of the past 16 days.

At the Eau Claire County Highway Department, crews work two types of shifts – state and county.

On the state system, crews work in 18-hour shifts with a six-hour break and on the county system it’s a 12 to 14 hour shift.

Highway department staff say crews are a little fatigued, but with a recent day off this past weekend they are well rested and ready to go for what’s coming next.

“You know the big thing is just getting proper rest with our guys and trying to work our staff the most flexible way we can with them because of the exhaustion,” said Jon Johnson, Eau Claire County highway commissioner.  “They’re driving a $250,000 pierce of equipment. We want to make sure they’re operating in a safe and effective manner. So, just work with us and we’ll do the best we can to clean the roads and provide you with safe travel.

Johnson said with the way the forecast is looking, the highway department will be working steadily through Thursday which would extend their working streak to 17 of the past 19 days.

In that time, staff at the Eau Claire Highway Department said they have used over 3,400 pounds of salt and sand to clear the roads.

 

Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

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