Highway departments adjusting to changing road conditions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Highway departments adjusting to changing road conditions


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - Keeping the pavement clear on a day like Tuesday was no easy job for road crews.  One day water...the next, ice.

"Well it's certainly been a week, weather wise, here in Western Wisconsin," says WQOW Daybreak Meteorologist Nick Grunseth.

A week, which has kept county highway departments on their toes.

"Right at the moment we're in pretty decent shape.  We're just going to have to play it by ear just like we normally do," says Chippewa County Operations Superintendent Jack Gerlach.

Because this week the weather has been like a roller coaster.

"When the temperature is rising above freezing during the day and then cooling down at night below freezing, that's when you want to watch out for slick spots," says Grunseth.

There are certain areas you really need to keep an eye on.

"Hills, curbs and intersections," says Gerlach.

"Bridges and overpasses, underneath overpasses are the main areas.  The places that cool down faster compared to other parts of the roadway," adds Grunseth.

If colder weather is on its way Chippewa County is ready, preparing to carry more than salt later this week.

"It's pretty effective down to about five to ten degrees.  After that it doesn't work very well at all so then we'll go to a sand salt mix," says Gerlach.

Adjusting to the changing conditions, "It doesn't matter if it's during the daytime, at night, whatever it takes to get the job done, we'll do," to keep the roads clear.

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