THE MAYOR’S REPORT: Winter road maintenance

Ben Thomas Jr.

Wow … what a difference a week makes with the weather. Happy New Year plus a couple of days. Did you make some great memories over the holidays? The weather was certainly notable, from a brief snowfall on Dec. 22, followed by cold, windy conditions, then mild weather for the new year. Mark March 20th on your calendar for the first day of spring!

Though the family room is mighty comfortable, it’s good to get out and walk if you are safely able during the winter season. Otherwise, a walk in your home is important as well.

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I write about my observations regarding winter maintenance by state and municipal crews. These men and women are very dedicated in what they do, working long hours when needed. Greencastle was out pre-treating the streets the morning of Dec. 22 when Mother Nature visited.

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

There are many methods utilized depending on snow depth, temperature and how long the snow/ice storm is predicted to last. Salt calcium, liquid calcium and other anti-skid materials are mixed and stored ready for loading on the back of dump trucks. Plows may be lowered on either the first or second round of a designated route so the anti-skid materials may work best. Hills and intersections are given special treatment to provide anti-skid materials to assist vehicles when stopping or braking. For major snow events, contractors may be brought in to assist Greencastle’s personnel and clear our downtown parking areas.

Icing conditions can be very challenging. It’s important for drivers’ safety if you can wait until temperatures begin to rise to give the applied anti-skid materials time to work. A slow go is a safe practice if you must drive and keep your distance from other vehicles in front of you.

On Dec. 22, I observed several vehicles where only the driver’s front and side windows were clean from snow. Drivers must have full visibility for everyone’s safety so make sure all windows are clear.

During weather-related road conditions, motor vehicle crash volume increases. A special thanks for the public works employees and police officers that are out keeping us safe during winter weather events.

Winter can be a beautiful time of year. It’s fun watching the squirrels play and jump from limb to limb after a fresh, clean snow that will surely visit us. Turn on some good tunes and enjoy the season. Happy new year! We are certainly blessed.