Plow Drivers Work 24/7 To Keep Sardine, Logan Canyons Roads Safe
MANTUA, Utah – UDOT stations, located at the summits of Sardine and Logan canyons are now being staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the winter.
The canyon road that connects drivers from Brigham City to Wellsville sees some treacherous storms during the winter months. Some can come on rather quickly.
Scott Baker, and his co-workers at the Utah Department Of Transportation summit station are tasked with keeping the area safe for drivers, around the clock.
“We have three man crews that work 12-hour rotating shifts up here,” Baker, who serves as the station’s supervisor said. “If we can get ahead of the storms, be ready before they come in, it’s just a card in our hand, to take care of it, to get the traveling public through a lot safer.”
Hazardous driving conditions can come in rather quickly however, which is why plow operators have to be ready to head out at any moment.
“It’s ever-changing. It’s not just a snowstorm coming in,” Baker said. “We have such diversity. Over in Cache Valley, the temperatures are always running a bit colder than the Box Elder side.”
Baker said the conditions can vary quite a bit too. From the slick, icy roads that can easily form in the final stretch to Wellsville, to the windy conditions that tend to hang around somewhere in the middle.
“The conditions that can take place in Dry Lake, you have nowhere else in the canyon,” Baker said “We get winds that come through there, and stay with us, that come off those down slopes in the mountains behind it. It can stick with us for a day or two.”
Baker added that drivers need to do their part to keep the roads safe too. He says people try to pass to the right of plows more often than many might think.
“I can never understand why anyone would want to put themselves in a position to drive through the snow coming off a snow plow, but it happens on a daily basis,” Baker said. “It happens every round we make in this canyon. Somebody will try and pass us on the right, and that’s even if we’re set up echelon, two wide, three wide. They’re still trying. They’re in a hurry.”
While passing to the left of an operating plow may seem safer, Baker said that’s not the best idea either.
“The best place for traction and a clear road is behind us,” Baker said. “Once you go out around us, then you’re getting into the road that hasn’t been treated, and hasn’t been plowed.”
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