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TowPlows take on Utah's snowy roads

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013 3:20 p.m. MST

A TowPlow and other snowplows work to clear snow on I-15.

UDOT,

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PROVO — UDOT’s snowplow drivers are working long hours to clear the roads of all the snow that northern Utah has seen over the past few days, and the agency is using an unusual tool in the fight against snowy roads.

It’s called the TowPlow, and it’s no ordinary plow. It’s equipped with a 26-foot moldboard and either a granular spreader or a tank for dispensing liquids for snow and ice control. In conjunction with the conventional snow plow, it is able to plow a path the width of two typical traffic lanes.

“A TowPlow is not your average plow with just one driver, and one pass can clear several lanes of traffic, where a traditional plow can only do one lane at a time,” UDOT spokeswoman Muriel Xochimitl said.

With the completion of the new freeway in Utah County, there are more lane miles to clear on I-15 and these TowPlows are making a big difference.

“It increases efficiency and reduces costs, so with just one driver out with one plow we can clear several lanes of traffic at a time, getting our job done much quicker and keeping the roads safer,” Xochimitl said.

The TowPlows could be the wave of the future. UDOT is using a handful of them right now along the Wasatch Front; three are in use in Utah County and a fourth is on order.

“We just ask drivers to partner with us in slowing down, being cautious so that we can keep the roads safe and get people where we need to go,” she said.

UDOT is asking drivers to stay back at least 300 feet the distance of a football field to give them the area they need to clear the roads.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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