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Frigid temperatures are causing challenges for crews trying to clear the roads

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Extremely cold temperatures are causing problems for those trying to clear the streets.

“It’s really kind of created a situation where our materials specifically salt, salt brine are not as effective as they typically would be,” Craig Bargfrede, winter operations administrator for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said.

It’s something that area drivers have noticed, including those who drive for a living like truckers.

“You know a lot of the trucks they’re going too fast for the weather you know and then you see them in the ditch,” Travis Morrison, who was operating along Interstate 380, said.

It is easy to see the impact of prolonged periods of snow and cold temperatures along area highways, with numerous vehicles stranded off of the roadway still visible.

Bob Smithers, a driver who was on his way to Denver from Green Bay, said his biggest issues have come while driving through cities.

“You know we leave a lot of room in front of us and people cut us off all the time and we have to keep hitting our breaks and stuff and that’s what’s scary,” Smithers said.

A drive on city streets, I-380 and on rural Linn County roads on Monday showed that none of them were in great shape. When temperatures plummeted last week, ice and snow flash froze to the pavement. Until temperatures can pick up, road conditions will likely be slowing people down.

Slowing down is exactly what Bargfrede says drivers should be doing in these conditions.

“Within the last week or so we’ve probably had somewhere around 8-9 trucks in different areas of the state that have been hit,” Bargfrede said.

When a plow is hit it’s temporarily out of commission which means one less truck out improving the roads.

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