Michiana plowing crews battle winter storm

Mishawaka street crews have been doing what they can to keep the roads clear and safe, even with the temperatures dropping.

"It is kind of a dangerous spot with cars going up and down the hill," says John Palmer, an equipment operator with the Mishawaka Street Department, as he drives past the Patel School in a salt truck.

Palmer is out on the roads trying to make the ride smoother for everyone else on the streets during rough weather.

"There's a lot of traffic that goes through there," says Palmer passing another intersection.

But there's no such thing as a smooth ride for John Palmer on a night like Tuesday night. Palmer along with other members of the Mishawaka Streets Department have been trying to get ahead of expected bad weather before it starts.

"We have our city broken up into nine different sections," says Alex Fisher, assistant street commissioner for the city of Mishawaka. "We assign trucks to each section. We try to double up on some of the bigger areas where there's wider lanes and a lot more traffic."

Crews have been preparing for snow and ice since Monday.

"[We use anti-icing liquid before they expect a big snow and get the trucks all ready ... make sure everything's running good," says Palmer.

Workers say there are certain spots that need more attention than others.

"Our most important areas that we try to address first are like your bridges, your overpasses, your underpasses, things where the temperatures tend to be a little cooler," says Fisher. "The road will freeze on a bridge before it will freeze on a regular road surface."

Each of the 11 city drivers on a street department shift will be doing what they can to keep Mishawaka's 300 miles of roadway clear.

"You know with the kids crossing the street, we need to keep [streets] salted really well," says Palmer.

Although road crews have been preparing for inclement weather, they like other Michiana drivers are... "really dying to see summertime," laughs Fisher.


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