Road grader clears streets of dangerous ice - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Road grader clears streets of dangerous ice

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- City crews are still working non-stop to clear the roads. The recent winter storm has brought ice which is much harder to remove than snow.

The problem with the roads this year has been two fold.
First: melting and refreezing because when it started snowing, the ground hadn't frozen yet.
Second: half of the precipitation hasn't even been snow; it's been sleet and freezing rain.

Almost an inch of ice has covered the roads, making city crews bring out more than just snow plows. That's where the road grader comes in. The tractor-like machine has a blade that cuts through the ice and scrapes it off the road.

Jack Webber, with the City of Kennewick says, "with the road grader, you can apply a little more down pressure than you can with the plows. You can also run it in the float position. It's got a lot heavier bed on it and you can curl it and cut down to get the ice off."

The grader also has a camera that allows the operator to see the lane behind.

A snow plow also follows the grader to clear off the intersections and driveways as the grader shoots out snow and ice. Once both machines pass, you can actually see the pavement again.

The City of Kennewick only has 1 of road graders for residential areas.