The Buena Vista County road crew is into another winter snow removal season. This winter appears to be longer and harsher than several of the previous winters have been.
County crews maintain 245 miles of paved and 750 miles of gravel roads, which can be a daunting task during a snow storm. , according to County Engineer Jon Ites.
Statewide, the extensive rural system can strain local snow and ice budgets - counties are responsible for almost four times the road miles of state, city and town agencies combined. The road crews realize many rural residents work in nearby towns and losing time on the job is a financial hardship to the family. Likewise, they also realize that livestock farmers must have access to care for their animals on a regular basis.
Most snow clearing is done during the daylight hours. However, crews will start before dawn following a snow storm to get ahead of traffic and will respond to emergency situations as requested by law enforcement or rescue units. County crews don't work in rotating shifts the way the state and many city crews function. Given the size of the rural system and the isolated nature of many roads, daylight work is the safest and most efficient operation.
Read the rest of this article in the 1/06 Pilot Tribune.