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Highway Department Defends Its Storm Response

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - While the winter storm cleanup is not over for the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Missouri Highway Department is evaluating Thursday’s response.

Assistant District Engineer Tom Blair says the team did a good job preparing for the storm by treating roads and highways in advance.

“And when that snow and rain and sleet and everything came, it came down hard,” he said. “I spent quite a bit of the day out there with our crews, on the road. It was coming down hard and it had some weight to it, it wasn’t a light mix we had to push off the roads. So we accomplished quite a bit during the day.”

Blair admits the wintry mix was coming down faster than it could be plowed but once it did stop, he said crews made headway.

“Our trucks, while it was snowing, weren’t really able to get off of the major routes. Most of our trucks were on the interstates most of the time until the snow actually stopped and we were able to get the interstates clear enough that we were able to actually relieve those trucks, redirect those trucks onto those other routes.”

Blair disputes claims that plow trucks were not visible on major interstates during the height of the storm but admits I-270 at Page and I-64 at Maryville were problematic areas.

A final grade on the Missouri Department of Transportation’s cleanup efforts will be released next week.

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