Cold temps keeping county roads icy and slippery

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DUNN COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Slipping and sliding all over the roads -- it has become part of the daily commute in Western Wisconsin. Highways departments are still working to cut down on the ice that seems to be everywhere we drive.

A highway department supervisor tells us the interstates and highways are beginning to clear up a bit but the problem is still outlying county roads and smaller highways.

In Dunn County, the machines at the highway department have been getting a lot of heavy use lately, pushing away snow and chopping away at the ice.

"They're designed for scraping on ice and are more effective than a smooth blade," said Jesse Rintala, the Highway Supervisor in Dunn County. He is referring to one of the machines that has been used to help sand and salt the roads.

Operators have been working since Thursday to help reduce the ice on the 420 miles of road in the county.

"We've spent a lot of time and resources trying to remove that snow and ice from the roadways," Rintala.

While operators have been able to cover a lot of ground, the snow and salt mixture has been less effective in melting the ice. That could set up for a dangerous situation on county roads that do not get traveled as often.

"Definitely the county roads are icy and slippery and we'll probably continue to be that way until we get a break from the temps," he added.

We drove along County Road E between Menomonie and Eau Claire which was very icy on Tuesday night. Rintala says they are using sand and salt sparingly, bearing in mind the temps are making it less effective. His advice to drivers taking county roads is to be extra careful.

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