Rotary snowplowing captured on video

Stuart Wilson enjoyed a routine winter drive on Idaho 21 recently under mostly blue skies with only occasional traffic. He owned the highway, except for boss Dan Bryant who followed from a distance capturing the drive on video.

Wilson, lead worker on ITD’s Idaho City maintenance crew, used a rotary snowplow with blower to trim accumulated snow from the shoulder of the highway. Bryant drove a “shadowing truck,” to warn motorists of the snow removal effort. He took advantage of the occasion to capture it on video, using his department-issued cell phone.

He added music to the five-minute video and posted it on You Tube. Click here to watch Bryant's video.

The rotary plow and blower sent a “rooster tail” spray onto the highway right-of-way and beyond. At one point in the video, Wilson adjusted the blower to send the plume of snow to the left, across the highway. He did so to protect an ITD snow-gauging station on the right, which could be damaged by the spray. That also would have resulted in the loss of critical data for ITD’s avalanche crew.

ITD’s aggressive snow fighting efforts have helped reduce the number and durations of Idaho 21 closures caused by avalanches or avalanche danger. Banner Summit regularly receives more than 300 inches of snow during a season. Last year it received more than 28 feet and experienced 50 slides that landed on the roadway. But thanks to the department’s avalanche forecasting and snow removal, closures were limited to 21.5 days.

Published 12-21-2012