Road crews anticipating busy clean up because of weather conditions

HOUGHTON — Our January thaw appears to have been short lived, and it’s back to winter business as usual here in the Copper Country. Road crews are anticipating a busy clean up Thursday night and Friday morning and Houghton County Engineer Kevin Harju wants to remind drivers to stay clear of maintenance vehicles and to use general caution overall while driving.

“One benefit of the thaw that we just currently had is the snow got to compress a little bit and you know, firm up so be aware that the snow banks are relatively tall so if we do get those winds and a lot of snow visibility could be really difficult at times,” said Harju.

Harju says it’s safest if you can stay in during the Winter Weather Advisory, but for those that must be out and about, its crucial to maintain a safe driving speed.

“You don’t necessarily have to go 55 miles an hour down the road. I mean, today when we were checking roads, I would say the average speed on 55 mile an hour roadways were roughly about 35 – 40 miles an hour, which there were still several accidents. You may have four-wheel drive and be able to take off, but it doesn’t make you stop any faster so just slow down and give some space and be courteous to the other drivers,” said Harju.

The Houghton County Road Commission maintains over 850 miles of roadway. During the advisory, the fleet will be plowing and adding sand to the roads to improve traction.

“Use caution when traveling you know, If they have to travel, the roads were extremely slippery this morning. We do have twelve sanders out today trying to address the real slippery locations,” said Harju.