36 February 2014 Better Roads
Wanted: 'Winter weather war stories'
With the polar vortex right after the new year that plummeted temperatures in the
Midwest to subzero temps (with the wind chill, temps were as cold as -45 degrees
Fahrenheit in Chicago) and the extreme winter weather that wreaked havoc in the
South, this photo from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) sums it
all up pretty well. It's on days such as these I am grateful to be able to work from
home in my sweatpants with my trusty coffee maker just a few steps away.
However, road agency and contractors don't have the luxury of working from
inside a cozy house. Instead, they are out in the harsh weather clearing roads and
ensuring trafﬁ c safety. How are your snow- and ice-control agency folks keeping
your staff safe in these dangerous temps? Or are your employees safely working inside trucks as they plow roads? I'd love to
see your photos and hear your snow and ice winter weather stories for possible publication online and/or in print. E-mail me
'Swagger Wagon' video
shows minivan isn't uncool
The minivan, not surprisingly, has made the list of one of the most
embarrassing types of vehicles to drive coming in at No. 2, receiving
23 percent of the votes in a survey conducted by carinsurance.com.
(Check out the post to ﬁ nd out the other embarrassing vehicles at
But the minivan may not be as uncool as it's portrayed. In fact, ac-
cording to this "Swagger Wagon" video, it's a pretty hip car. (I'm
proud to say that I'm one hip motorist then.) Check out this video for
a good laugh: betterroads.com/swagger-wagon.)
There are famous ice hotels – Hôtel de Glace near Quebec City,
Quebec, Canada and the ICEHOTEL in Sweden's, Jukkasjärvi, a
tiny little town 200 km north of the Arctic Circle – built every
year that draw people from all over the world. Now, all things
frozen have expanded to vehicles.
As a way to test one of its car batteries, Canadian Tire, along
with ice construction company Iceculture, created a truck made
of 14,000 pounds of ice. The ice truck is built on the chassis of
a 2005 Chevy Silverado 2500, but the frame was rebuilt with
large blocks of ice. For more on this story and video of the ice
truck in action, go to betterroads.com/ice-truck.
By Tina Grady Barbaccia
The Last Word
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