HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. – With winter weather often comes poor road conditions. The West Virginia Division of Highways District 4 is doing its part to keep things as safe as possible for drivers.
Tunnel Hill is just one of four expressway garages within district four, working to make sure roads stay safe throughout the winter months. Employees try to keep track of the weather to know ahead of time what will need to be done.
WVDOH representative Clifford Fulton said that knowing the weather ahead of time can contribute to the success of road care.
“If we know of ice coming in ahead of time or the road temperatures are in the ideal conditions we can pre-treat up to 72 hours in advance with the brine treatment, and of course once it starts snowing we go to utilizing the salt as everybody has seen in the past.”
However, this year’s heavy rain has, at times, gotten in the way of the treatments, making it harder for the DOH to complete them.
“We always try and pre-treat with the brine when it’s possible,” Fulton said. “Unfortunately, a lot of times it’s not possible due to the storms coming in as rain. If it comes in as a rain event, you can’t put the brine down and it’ll dilute it and turn it back into water just like the rain.”
With many traveling during the winter, the DOH is doing what it can to make sure that in the case of snowy conditions, drivers can still get where they need to go safely.
“It comes in as a snow event or an ice event, the brine water will dry on the road surface and creates a barrier to where when you get the ice or snow coming in it doesn’t allow it to bond to the roadway and in turn takes less salt and less effort from the plow trucks,” Fulton explained.
Even if roads cannot be pre-treated, efforts are still made to clear them to make driving as safe and easy as possible.