UPDATE on 1/29: Newsome says one crew completed its first 12-hour shift, and another one is starting now. Every truck that breaks up ice is “rolling.” The division is particularly concerned with shady areas where the sun does not hit the road.
A carefully crafted management system on a whiteboard keeps drivers safe
99 vehicles at the Street and Drainage Division of Athens DoT, none of them snowplows
Workers toil in 2 shifts, each lasting 24 hours
ATHENS – Travis Newsome’s board is no ordinary board.
“They called us up today and told us we’re going to into 12-hour shifts,” says Travis Newsome, the Street and Drainage Operations Coordinator. “I called the guys at noon today and said this is what’s going on.”
Because of the board – white and magnetic and full of information – Newsome and his team are ready. And what was going on was snow and ice. That means one crew works all day; the other works all night.
“We could potentially work four to five, 12-hour shifts in a row,” Newsome explains.
The board exists so crews do not have to “stumble around,” he says.
They do not have any snowplows, but they do have three sand trucks. Along with those, some other large trucks called graters to clear off any especially troublesome spots.
The Streets and Drainage division also sends out four-wheel drive vehicles to help the police and fire departments. And the police help them as well by calling when they see icy patches that need attention.