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By Tina Grady Barbaccia
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 traffic 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘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 find out the other embarrassing vehicles at betterroads.com/embarrassing-cars.)
But the minivan may not be as uncool as it’s portrayed. In fact, according 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.