With winter weather in full swing, the Elbert County Road and Bridge crews haven’t had much rest this year. According to Rory Hale, director of public works for Elbert County, his crews have spent …
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With winter weather in full swing, the Elbert County Road and Bridge crews haven’t had much rest this year. According to Rory Hale, director of public works for Elbert County, his crews have spent countless hours clearing roads due to back-to-back snow storms.
“Bridge staff haven’t had much rest this year. Seems it’s been one snow storm after another,” said Hale. “But they’re all dedicated and care about Elbert County. No complaining about being tired or spending long hours away from their families.”
The amount of snowfall can be unpredictable, ranging from a few inches to several feet, like Elbert County witnessed with the Cyclone Bomb last year, which left hundreds of motorists stranded and needing to be dug out by emergency crews. Winds along the eastern plains can cause snow to drift, and increase the intensity of even the lightest amount of snow.
Hale and his crew work non-stop to clear the roads after a storm, and have a priority system they use to determine which roads get plowed first. Arterial roadways that provide access to first responders are top priority, and generally consist of the county’s paved roads outside of subdivisions.
Collector streets, which lead to arterial roadways, mostly consisting of paved roads inside subdivisions, are priority two, with local roads leading to residences and businesses in the county, which have low traffic volumes and are usually unpaved, are plowed last.
The road and bridge department has issued some safety tips for drivers that will also allow for snow plows to do a better job clearing roads faster.
If possible, during a snowstorm, stay off the roads to allow road and bridge employees to clear the roads. Also try to keep parked cars off subdivision streets to make room for plows, and if you must drive during a storm stay well clear of the plows and graders removing snow — they can move unpredictably and have limited visibility.
“I’ve been doing this for over 25 years and this is hands down the best road and bridge crew I’ve been blessed to work with,” said Hale. “From the superintendent, foremen, plow drivers and grader operators, Elbert County residents should be proud of all these guys.”
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