Bismarck Public Works working 24-hours to clear roads

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The Bismarck Public Works Department began prepping for the snow at midnight on Thursday.

Crews then hit the road at 6:00 a.m. to make morning commutes safer.

“Ive been here since midnight,” said Brooks Salhus, a Public Works employee.

Public Works employees, like Salhus, traded their street sweepers for salt trucks to get ready for the winter storm.

"This time of year we're sweeping because of the leaves are falling off, and we got the sweeper out and were sweeping up the leaves up. But we haven't even let them yet,” said Salhus.

Salhus hit the streets early with his truck loaded with salt to make sure others have an easier drive.

"We're going to try to get that all done before the kids go to school,” said Salhus.

Other drivers make his job clearing the streets tougher than it has to be.

"If they give us the time to do our job, they can get to work. If they're coming around us and sliding in the ditch and we got to worry about hitting them or them hitting us, it doesn't go very good,” said Salhus.

With crews on the clock 24-hours of the day, the amount of snow determines routes and approach to clearing roads.

"Once we get around two inches of snow, we'll start plowing our emergency routes and then we'll jump into some of our collector streets and schools. We usually don't go into residential until four inches," said Keith Glass, superintendent of the Roads and Streets Department.

However, the city workers are determined to work as long as drivers need them to make sure roadways are safe.

"We'll stay on our shifts here until the snow storm is passed," said Glass.

At any given time, more than a dozen plows and salters will be on the roads throughout Bismarck.