Road crews preparing for snow this weekend
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. --- The Berrien County Road Department preparing for upcoming snow, with the first taste of wintery weather expected to hit Michiana this weekend.
“The biggest things is that we’re constantly monitoring it. If for any reason the weather dictates that we do need to bring people in if that’s to run their full routes or if that’s simply just treating slick spots, such as intersections or bridge decks that do ice before the rest of the road,” said Adri Boone the Administrative Assistant or the Berrien County Road Department.
Although the department may not be out in full force this weekend they said they usually cover almost 1,500 miles of centerline roads in the county, running about 45 routes, equipped with nearly 50 snow plow trucks on its fleet, and about 45 drivers.
Boone said unlike some other Michiana road departments they haven’t been heavily affected by staffing shortages, but they’re still looking to add a few more seasonal drivers.
“In winter we do look to bring on additional work staff in the form of temporary operators. We are working through hiring so if there are any individuals out there we can bring more people in. But right now, we’ve been very fortunate that we are still able to function at a high capacity and meet all of the requirements necessary to keep the public safe.”
Some of the drivers out on the roadway said with weather expected to ramp up this weekend they’re getting ready for the worst too.
“I am concerned because Michigan weather can be hectic, said Berrien County resident Darien Ivy.
“I already got my oil changed, I finished getting my tune up, I got oil, my fluid and stuff changed, the only left to do is my tires,” added Latonya Griffin.
Keeping up with car maintenance is one of many steps Berrien County officials are urging drivers to do to ahead of this weekend’s weather and the official winter season.
“If the weather is that the roads are less ideal, plan accordingly, add additional time to get to your destination, reduce those speeds, expect to need more distance to stop at intersections,” said Boone. “Drive to the condition of the road, make sure you’re vehicle is in good shape, from tires, to fuel, to cell phone charged and we’ll get through winter together.”