Inside Look How VTRANS Plows the Roads

Published 02/05 2014 05:21PM

Updated 02/05 2014 06:13PM

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - For Chittenden county, VTRANS crews started early Wednesday.

"I started around 4 o'clock this morning," Plow Operator Randy Kennett said. 

Kennett's first run of the day along Route 15 from Essex Junction to Underhill was routine.

"I'll plow down from one end to the other, just the main line," Kennett said.

Over the course of the day, he goes back plowing turning lanes and cleaning up the center line.

That's when FOX 44 and ABC 22 rode along.

"This is the start of our line right here, now dropping the hardware," Kennett said. "We start from the center and work our way out. What we'll do is plow out the center because as traffic travels down the road and pushes the snow one way or the other."

He says crashes often occur when cars hit that snowy center and lose control.
On Kennett's route, the hill in Jericho also gets extra attention. Slide offs and accidents are quite common there.

Plow operators say the biggest challenge they face is just keeping up with the snow in storms like this, but drivers on the roadway add an extra challenge.

"I try to get my road plowed down and treated before the commute traffic gets out there. It's fairly difficult once the traffic's out there and it's very hard for me to move around and get ahead of the storm," said Kennett.

Cars trying to pass plows is also a hazard.

"What I do is slow down and try to give as much space to go by."

Fortunately Wednesday morning Kennett didn't see any accidents on his route.

Kennett says people along his route are very appreciative of his hard work. One man even bought him coffee on Wednesday. He says he understands and shares in the public's frustrated when VTRANS can't keep up with the conditions.

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