Icy roads create major headache for salt trucksSubmitted: 01/29/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - The weather made a messy morning across the Northwoods.

Dozens of schools in the viewing area were either delayed or closed completely.

Plenty of people slipping and sliding around.

You might think warm temperatures will help clear those icy roads, but they can actually be a major headache for safety crews.

Oneida County Highway workers started their day at dawn this morning.

Their main goal was to get the streets plowed and salted before heavy traffic and school buses got out.

Highway Department Commissioner Freeman Bennett says the temperatures bouncing from one extreme to the next is a nightmare.

"If the roads are wet and especially on the high side parts of the curb, the snow melts and washes across the road and washes all the salt residue off, said Bennett.

"Then when the temperatures drop so fast and freezes instantly, the big problem that we have is when it's 18 degrees below zero. The salt doesn't work."

Pot holes are another issue for salt truck drivers.

Bennett says having to refill them can get very tedious.

"If we can get the cleaned up in the summer time a lot of times what we'll do is hot mix asphalt and then they stay," Bennett said.

"But around this time of the year, it's tough. It gets wet and pops right back out again. So after a day like today we'll be out there again Thursday and we'll be patching them one more time."

Bennett says the best thing to do with icy roads like today is leave an hour early.

Give the salt trucks space.

Even though they're moving at a slow pace, they can spin out as well.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


Play Video


The Merrill Police Department runs on the motto: "Serving Merrill With Pride." Tuesday, the people of Merrill returned the favor.

Every penny of the Friendship House Restaurant's proceeds from open to close went to the K-9 unit.

Eros, the German Shepherd, and his handler, Officer Matt Drabek, spent Tuesday afternoon at the restaurant along Highway 51 thanking customers and staff.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - This week you can get a closer look at places to relax in the Northwoods. Vilas County is hosting its fall accommodations tour, which will feature the Eagle River community this year. People can see resorts that feature mom-and-pop-style cabins and larger motels.

+ Read More

Play Video

OGEMA - The fall colors brighten up our area this time of year.

High Point Village Resort sits right on Bass Lake in Ogema It overlooks Timm's Hill. The hill is Wisconsin's highest geographical point, with an elevation of 1951.5 feet.

"This time of year is the busiest," said High Point Village Resort owner Kathy Blomberg. "People are coming for the colors."

+ Read More

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - People in Lac du Flambeau will start moving into new affordable housing.

The tribe built 12 new low-income homes.

It held a ribbon cutting ceremony today for the houses.

The new buildings will replace old apartments downtown.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he wants to work with Republican senators to find a solution to funding for road projects in Wisconsin that has led to a delay in some work.

Walker spoke to Republican state senators in the Capitol on Tuesday.

+ Read More

WAUSAU - Police think a high school student may have started a fire in Wausau last week.

Last Tuesday, the Wausau Police Department responded to a fire that damaged a significant amount of two buildings in downtown Wausau last week. On Thursday, police got information that a 16-year-old boy from Wausau East talked about being responsible for starting the fire.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Students at one Northwoods school start the school day later than they did last year.

Lac du Flambeau School starts at 8:25 this year instead of 7:45.

The school had a few different reasons to start later.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here