WEATHER

Snowplow operators working around the clock in Sardine Canyon

Nov 9, 2022, 6:02 PM | Updated: 6:41 pm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — Snowplow operators with the Utah Department of Transportation are getting a busy start to the winter driving season this week, especially in some of the higher elevations.

Right now, a couple of crews are taking turns in twelve-hour shifts to clear Sardine Canyon. They had a short break Wednesday afternoon but more snow moved in at approximately 5 p.m.

Conditions can change quickly in the area making the job of clearing snow and driving carefully really important

This is typical business for us. We were ready for it,” said Sardine Summit Station supervisor Scott Baker.

When you’re posted at the Sardine Summit Station, it’s part of the job. “It has been busy,” Baker said. “We knew this storm was coming days ago.”

Baker and his snowplow operators rely on forecasters to help them plan their response.

“We actually got three guys that worked all night last night (Tuesday) that was prepared for it. They pre-treated the road and whatnot, so it was ready when I came in this morning,” Baker said.

Snowplow drivers caught a break Wednesday afternoon before the evening snow started to fall on U.S. Highway 89. (KSL TV) Snowplows that operate in Sardine Summit are based out of this station. (KSL TV) Scott Baker is supervisor of the UDOT Sardine Summit Station. (KSL TV) Snowplows that operate in Sardine Summit are based out of this station. (KSL TV) UDOT spokesperson Mitch Shaw warned drivers face a $1,000 fine for violating traction requirements. (KSL TV)

He said much of the actual snow removal took place during the Wednesday morning commute but there will likely be more in the hours ahead.

“It’s a high-elevation road. It gets a lot of snow and it can happen quickly. So every year they do very important work in keeping that road clear,” UDOT spokesman Mitch Shaw said. It’s also why traction requirements are often put into effect in areas just like this.

All-wheel or four-wheel drive or chains may be required along with appropriate tires. If you ignore those warnings you could be fined up to $1,000.

Shaw said, “We want people to be as safe as possible.”

At the same time, Baker is asked drivers to give his crews space to work, don’t pass them as they plow.

“Give yourself extra time to get up over the canyons. Make sure that your tires, you’ve got good tires that are properly inflated, and take your time and slow down,” Baker warned.

He said you need to know your equipment and your limits. Conditions on these roads can change quickly.

UDOT also reminded drivers to pay attention to the digital signs at the mouth of canyon roads around the state.

If you’re not properly equipped for the conditions, turn around.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Snowplow operators working around the clock in Sardine Canyon