Iowa DOT Begins Winter Season

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s winter season officially begins today.

The Iowa DOT has implemented a couple of changes as workers prepare for another winter of battling snow and ice on the state’s roads.

Craig Bargfrede, the Iowa DOT’s winter operations administrator, says cameras will be installed in ALL snow plows and still images will be posted online.

Last winter, about two-thirds of the DOT’s roughly 900 snow plows had cameras. This year, all of them will be equipped with the technology. All plows will also feature blue and white safety lights, along with the familiar amber color.

The Iowa DOT experimented with the blue and white colors for the past several years and, according to Bargfrede, they’ve helped reduce certain types of crashes by nearly two-thirds.

The Iowa DOT sets aside $40 million each year for winter operations. Bargfrede oversees roughly 1,000 full-time employees.

Those part-timers are paid $17.45 an hour. Iowa’s low unemployment rate is making it difficult to find those extra workers.

The DOT’s winter season officially runs from October 15th through April 15th.

 

(story and photo courtesy of Radio Iowa)