UDOT crews work 15-hour shifts as winter storm hits Utah

Posted at 8:02 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 22:02:04-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- After 17 years with the Utah Department of Transportation, Bob Giolas may know the Utah roads better than anyone.

Giolas is a highway operations manager, meaning he is in charge of clearing roads when it snows.

"We don't stop until the snow stops," Giolas said.

UDOT crews work 15 hour shifts when the snow falls at a steady pace. Giolas wouldn't have it any other way.

"I love it," Giolas said with a chuckle when describing his work.

Crews fill their trucks with salt to treat the roads. The plows move the snow to the shoulder.

This storm was a challenge to contain.

"It came in like ice crystals and just automatically stuck," Giolas said.

Each member of his team is assigned an area to clear. They try to clear the snow as soon as possible to make the roads safe for drivers, but sometimes, that is easier said than done.

"It's really frustrating when you try to go out and do your best and you come back to that same route and it's covered again," Giolas said. "It looks like you didn't do anything."

After making a number of loops along his route, the roads eventually cooperate.

When the day is done, Giolas and his crew head home feeling proud of their work.

"These guys are die hards," Giolas said. "They love what they do and they love the fact that they are keeping the roads safe for their families."

More winter weather is expected Saturday and another batch of storms should hit Monday and Tuesday.