Rain. Snow. Melt. That has been the regular rhythm of the winter season so far around the state of Missouri. With such rapid fluctuation between temperatures, road and bridge crews have seen some struggle with keeping up with the ever-changing conditions.

Rain. Snow. Melt. That has been the regular rhythm of the winter season so far around the state of Missouri. With such rapid fluctuation between temperatures, road and bridge crews have seen some struggle with keeping up with the ever-changing conditions.

Patrick Wolf, Camden County Road and Bridge Administrator, says that between the flooding and the ice, it’s been a rough season for the department. He says they just had to order a new load of salt to make up for their usage, which comes from St. Louis. He says they have been trying to pretreat roads as much as possible to bypass some slick conditions, but the changing temps make it hard to predict what is needed.

Currently, the county keeps around 1,100 tons of salt between three different storage locations. Wolf says they try to keep stock balanced throughout the winter season, so that they can purchase in the spring when prices are lower.

Gravel roads have taken a hit this year, as the constant freezing and thawing is causing many potholes to form. This is also seen in the paved roads throughout the county. The county currently stations 19 plows to care for nearly 420 miles of road. When roads are slick, the county prioritizes high traffic areas and then moves within that same area to get to backroads.

Bill Jefferies, Camdenton Director of Public Works, says that Camdenton itself has been able to manage better than the county as a whole. He says few problems have come this season and all roads are in good condition. When the spring comes, he says they expect some potholes to pop up, but nothing or urgent concern is currently present.

Camdenton only stocks 320 tons of salt, and Jefferies says they have gone through 50 tons so far. The city houses five plow trucks, all of which are in good condition and are only receiving minor repairs at this time, if any.

Looking at the entire state, MoDOT Area Engineer Bob Lynch says they believe their winter resources are looking good to last the remainder of the season. If need be, the state has budgeted enough to request more materials, but Lynch is confident in their current stock, especially looking at the lake area.

So far, he says the state has seen normal amounts of wear on the roads, though I-44 in Laclede County has taken considerable damage. There have also been roads throughout the Columbia area that are high on the state’s priority list. Overall, it’s been a fairly typical season for the state.

Lynch says the state works alongside the national weather service to predict storms that may come throughout the month. This helps them keep estimates of salt and vehicle use in check and keeps them always prepared.

"We can plan for what we need between now and Spring with confidence,” Lynch said.