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County Trucks, Delivery Drivers Hit The Roads To Work

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New Macomb County Communications Technology Center (WWJ/Pat Sweeting)

New Macomb County Communications Technology Center (WWJ/Pat Sweeting)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – The Michigan State Police is asking drivers to avoid two treacherous spots on the local roads.

M10 the Lodge north and southbound at Wyoming — and I-75 north and southbound at Schaffer are exceptionally slippery due to icy conditions.

MSP is asking drivers to use extreme caution in both of those areas — and to be aware that surfaces that appear to have been cleared are icing up now that temperatures have fallen.

While caution is being advised for those on the roads – many are on the road for their job.

Kayla Burton is a driver for the Jimmy John’s in Southfield. She says deliveries have been up about 80 percent.

“The roads are okay – they are not as bad as I thought they were going to be – it’s more cold than anything,” said Burton. “It’s real windy and then like the snow drifts – they catch me on the way in but I just slide through it and just keep going.”

Burton says she’s glad she’s working though, because the tips have been good.

She says it’s been busy and she’s the only driver today.

“They’ve got to get their lunch somehow so I might as well bring it to them,” she laughed.

And with sub-zero temps coming in Craig Bryson with the Oakland County Road Commission says they are racing against the clock to get the snow cleared off of major roads.

“Today the goal is to get as much of the snow out of the way and to get some salt down before the temperatures hit the zero mark and see if we can melt some of the slush and snow and ice that is out there and hopefully get the roads a little dried up,” said Bryson. “The wind will help with that a little bit.”

Some of the highest storm totals are in Oakland County…where Farmington Hills and Lake Orion recorded 13 inches of snow.

In Waterford and Clarkston, the totals measure 15.

Craig Bryson says the crews are trying to get as much snow removed as they can before the thermometer moves below zero, because then salt won’t work.

“We are using sand on some of the gravel roads – we generally don’t put sand on paved roads, most of our paved roads have at least some storm sewers and the sand tends to clog the storm sewers, which creates flooding problems in the spring and we don’t want that either,” said Bryson.

Bryson says the county has hired some private contractors to help attack the snow.

The road crews have been working 16 hour shifts since New Year’s eve.

In addition to the trucks on the road Macomb County has cameras and fifty screens trained on the roads to help deal with the storm.

County Roads Director Bob Hoepfner  says it’s all part of the new traffic command center opened at the end of last year. He says it allows workers to zero in on where the accidents are.

“And we could probably tell the severity of the crash right now and maybe get EMS on the way before the cops even get there,” said Hoepfner .

And he says they can also see which areas still need extra attention from road crews.

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