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Snowplows get busy as another winter storm hits

Posted: 5:43 PM, Nov 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-27 19:46:44-05

GREAT FALLS — At the Montana Department of Transportation office in Great Falls, they have been gearing up all day for the snow and icy road conditions.

Safety tips from MDT:

  • Slow down and stay behind the snowplow. Allow at least five car lengths between the vehicle and the snowplow.
  • Periodically, the plow operator will pull to the side of the road, retract the plow wing, or rotate the tow plow out of the way and allow vehicles to pass. Just remember, the road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive.
  • Be particularly aware of icy conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps.
  • Turn on headlights and turn off cruise control settings.

Fun fact: If a snow storm covers the entire state, the miles required to plow the whole system equates to one trip around the earth, and it will be accomplished within 24 hours.

WINTER WEATHER RESOURCES:

The City of Great Falls provided this information about plow operations:

Our crews are currently working around the clock sanding and plowing to keep our City streets safe. It is not possible to remove all the snow simultaneously from all of the City streets, however, it is our goal to provide access to desired destinations such as employment, shopping and community services in a quick, convenient, safe manner. Thoroughfares in Great Falls will be cleared by the following schedule:

Priority One: Emergency Snow Routes. These streets provide a network system throughout the city for emergency services operations. They are marked by road signs throughout the city.
Priority Two: Major Arterials. Streets interconnecting with high volume streets and completing the major street network with particular attention to schools, hospitals and business areas.

Priority Three: Selected Collector Streets. These streets include mass transit routes and other collector streets necessary to provide access to major arterials.

Most residential streets and others not mentioned in Priority one, two or three. These streets are not normally cleared unless impassable. After clearing of the other priorities, special requests as manpower and equipment, are available.

For Street Maintenance Questions or to Report a Street Problem: Call the PAR-TNER line at (406) 727-8637, the Public Works Operations Office at (406) 771-1401, or fill out the Street Maintenance Notification Form on the City of Great Falls webpage.

Please note - The following roadways are maintained by the State of Montana Highway Department:

  • All Bridges
  • 1st & 2nd Avenue North
  • 14th & 15th Streets
  • 10th Avenue South
  • 6th Street South West
  • North West Bypass
  • Central Avenue West
  • River Drive
  • 3rd Street North West
  • Park Drive
  • Vaughn Road
  • 57th Street
  • Bootlegger Trail
  • Old Havre Highway
  • Market Place Exit "0"
  • 25th Avenue North East from Old Havre Highway to the East

The State of Montana Highway Department can be reached locally at (406) 454-5880.