No relief in sight for UDOT snowplow drivers

Jan 3, 2023, 6:34 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2023, 5:29 am

SALT LAKE CITY — This winter’s string of snowstorms is keeping snowplow drivers especially busy and there is more on the way.

Over the past three-and-a-half weeks, the plow operators who work the canyons had one day off, thanks to a break from the snow on Christmas.

It was a relatively slow day in the Cottonwood canyons Tuesday as the snow paused for the afternoon.

“So yeah, it’s been super busy,” said Shawn Wright, Utah Department of Transportation Cottonwood station supervisor. “A pretty big challenge for us, trying to get through traffic, getting the roads plowed out.”

He said it’s been especially challenging as roads closed for avalanche mitigation, including a major one last weekend.

“That’s pushed hundreds and hundreds of more cars through Big Cottonwood,” Wright explained.

He asked drivers to be prepared and respectful, and not pass them while plowing.

“Check conditions for road closures and just give us room to work so we can get the roads clear for you,” he said.

Snow plow drivers get a break on Tuesday and Wednesday. (KSL TV) UDOT Cottonwood Station supervisor Shawn Wright said it's been a busy year for snow plow drivers. (KSL TV) Snow plow drivers get a break on Tuesday and Wednesday. (KSL TV)

Closures force more cars to park on the roads and skiers to hike up to the resorts. He said that gives plow operators even more to work around.

“It’s been crazy,” he added.

Crews are likely to get a break from the weather Wednesday, but they’ll only be preparing for the next storm.

“Fix problems, change blades,” he said. “And then we got another storm towards the end of the week and then it sounds like every few days we got more storms.”

Still, he’s grateful for the snow, the water supply, and simply because people around here love it.

“It’s cool to be able to help people out, letting them enjoy what they like to do,” he said.

UDOT has nine plow operators and three relief guys who come on to help with the snow at the Cottonwoods station. They have all worked through these past several weeks.

We would love to see the snow as you see it. Send your photos to KSL here.

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No relief in sight for UDOT snowplow drivers