Area road crews are gearing up for spring maintenance and other road projects now that mild weather is seemingly settling in this week. That's a different story compared to a very early start in 2012. Now they're gearing up to get a lot of work underway.
If the warmer temps and sunshine aren't enough, the orange and white barricades are a sure sign spring is here. Crews are getting ready to shift gears after waiting out several late snows this season. Looking back over the winter season, Rock Island crews responded to 14 snow events. An average winter is closer to 2,0 but it was the timing this year that made a difference. It's definitely made it feel like winter was lingering on. Actually, crews aren't too far off from the normal schedule.
Aside from keeping busy with the regular pothole repairs, this week Rock Island started things like concrete work on 30th Street and 5th Avenue, expecting that weather is finally out of the way. As it warms up even more, they'll get into things like sod repair and alley grading, and the list goes on.
"Everything is gearing up, our engineering department looking at all their projects coming up and we're putting the list together of where we're going to do work this year," said Interim Public Works Director Randy Tweet.
"This year is a little later than last year. Last year we were fortunate that it was dry enough and winter didn't produce much that we were already working on some dirt work and stuff like that," said Fred Thiede, Davenport Maintenance Supervisor for the Iowa DOT.
Iowa Department of Transportation crews haven't quite transitioned into spring mode with most of the equipment still outfitted for winter. Maintenance supervisors say the ground is too soft or frozen in many areas to get into things like ditch work and shoulder grading just yet. But we can be sure the big projects are right around the corner.