CDOT preps plows to help make wintry morning commute better

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DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation dispatched 100 plows throughout the Denver metropolitan area on Monday.

Around 8 p.m., crews began preparing to treat roads for snowfall. The first priority is area highways, according to CDOT. The goal is to have a smooth morning commute for Tuesday. State transportation officials reminded drivers on Monday to take it slow.

"We can't be everywhere at once, so [drivers] just have to make sure that they know what the surface temperature is and what the road conditions are,” said CDOT supervisor Stuart Tashiro.

Crews started working early Monday by clearing debris and trash from roads across the Denver area. About an hour before a predicted snowfall is when plows will start treating the roads with a chloride liquid and a new mixture of sand, clay and salt the state said is more environmentally friendly.

Early Monday evening, CDOT said it was planning for a mixture of snow and rain at night and even more snow in the early-morning hours. Advice for drivers was clear-- use caution around the plows.

"We kick everything off,” said Tashiro. “It could be tires, chains-- everything comes out of the right and if you drive through [the debris], it could go through your window."

Plow truck operators said it can be a dangerous job that becomes even more dangerous when crews have to deal with impatient drivers.