Keeping our roads clear: Day in the life of NDOT Highway Maintenace

Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 7:37 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -It hasn’t been an easy winter for snowplow drivers in our area. These recent storms have made for feet in the mountains, inches on our valley floor, and a test for road conditions.

It also makes for long hours for crew members at the Nevada Department of Transportation.

When the snow comes out, the plows and blowers do too.

Matt Bradbury has been with NDOT for fifteen years. Plowing, blowing, and shaving the pack off of snow is his responsibility for the entire 24-mile stretch of Mt. Rose Highway.

“It’s a battle. Every storm is different, but it’s been a good year so far,” Bradbury said.

“You got to love the snow, you know we have a good crew that helps and a good boss. It’s fun to play with the equipment. It can be tiring sometimes, but we get up and grind it out every day.”

The major highways are the top priority. Apart from clearing Mt. Rose Highway, Highway Maintenance crews are separated from US-395 North and South, then two other crews take care of I-80. The McCarran loop is then split.

Bradbury continued:

“We get a lot done during the day and night; you know a lot of our cutting is done at night. So, during the day we’re trying to plow as much as we can, do our avalanche control, and get that taken care of before the end of our shift, that way the night guys can focus on widening the road out.”

Highway maintenance does a job that ultimately keeps up safe on these rapidly changing winter roads.

“It’s a two-lane road so when they get stuck in a lane, we have to help them to help keep the road open and get the traffic moving because it could snowball. One car gets stuck, and it leads to another so we do what we can. We help as much as we can.”

Bradbury says the best thing drivers can do in winter road conditions is to chain up, drive slowly, and give the plow driver room to pass.

For the most up-to-date road conditions, click here.