Overall it's been a pretty good winter for highway crews and snow plows with the colder weather.

"We haven't had significant snow falls like last year in the Southeast and the snow hasn't been sticking or blowing around, which really creates a lot of problems for us," shared Steven Shaheen with the Ministry of Highways.

"Crews are always monitoring the highways, obviously it hasn't been as active as it was a year ago in the Estevan and Weyburn region. We have 8 snow plows, 4 in Estevan and 4 in Weyburn that can be called out at any given time." 

"Overall it's been a pretty good winter, we do anticipate though when temperatures warm up in the next few days that we'll see some pavement frost where ice can form when there's a fluctuation of road and air temperatures. Similar to bringing a turkey out of the oven freezer and when you set it on the counter you get that bit of frost on there, it's no different than the roads," he stated. 

"We know last week we had some issues with a bit of ice because of the rain and snow that hit in the Southeast, however crews were out the night before which certainly helped. Crews are constantly monitoring road conditions that they report to the hotline. The best way to find road conditions near you is to contact the highway hotline at 511 or www.saskatchewan.ca/highwayhotline."

"We always tell people to slow down for road conditions. We have a variety of different types of conditions that we post to the hotline so we always tell people to check on there first. Seasonal driving would indicate no specific issues, winter conditions exist would have perhaps icy, slippery or swirling snow in some sections and travel not recommended means when visibility is less than 250 meters and the surface is icy," explained Shaheen.

"The wind is our biggest challenge for crews and that creates the most challenges for the snow plow operators when it could create some bigger drifting, where the snow actually sticks to the road surface which can form some dangerous ruts for some motorists. This is why we don't apply salt in windy conditions because it blows off quickly and creates those dangerous ruts." 

 

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