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Winter is back: what to know about ROADCON Black

Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., has introduced a new Road Condition classification known as black Oct. 17, 2020. Road Condition Black will be enforced if driving conditions are extremely dangerous. Only emergency services, snow removal and mission critical vehicles will be permitted to travel at that time. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Christina Bennett)

Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., has introduced a new Road Condition classification known as black Oct. 17, 2020. Road Condition Black will be enforced if driving conditions are extremely dangerous. Only emergency services, snow removal and mission critical vehicles will be permitted to travel at that time. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Christina Bennett)

ELLSWOTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- It’s about that time again –WINTER TIME! In true South Dakota fashion – it’s already getting chilly outside. Roads will become slick with ice and heavy snow may cause visibility issues. In order to keep Airmen and their families safe, Ellsworth AFB provides traffic guidelines to inform drivers of dangerous road conditions.


These traffic guidelines are known as Road Condition (ROADCON) classifications, and are put in place to adjust speed limits across the installation in order to promote safe driving during inclement weather.


In the past Ellsworth has had three Road Condition classifications – green, yellow and red. This year the base is implementing a new classification known as black.


Road Condition Black will be implemented if driving conditions are extremely dangerous. Roadways and gates will be closed and motorist will not be allowed to travel due to life threatening conditions. Roads will be covered with hard-packed snow or ice and possibly unplowed. Low visibility and blocked roads may be present. Only emergency services, snow removal and mission critical vehicles may travel.


“Road Condition Black has been added to better align with local community levels,” said 1st Lt. Joshua Sinclair, a 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs officer. “The purpose of ROADCON Black is to acknowledge that it may be unsafe for emergency services and snow crews to be on the roads.”


However, if there is an emergency during Road Condition black, base personnel and residents are still encouraged to make contact with emergency services.


“If there is a life-threatening situation on base, emergency services will make every effort to provide assistance,” Sinclair emphasized. Road conditions green, yellow and red will still be implemented as follows:


Green: Normal driving conditions exist.


Yellow: Driving conditions exist that warrant additional caution. Roads may have snow or icy areas or visibility may be reduced. Reduction of speed may be necessary.


Red: Hazardous driving conditions exist and travel is not advised. Maximum speed limit on base is 15 miles per hour, or lower as posted. Gates may be closed or have restricted access.


As the weather conditions become more severe, the 28th Bomb Wing commander will determine the Road Condition classification in coordination with the 28th Security Forces Squadron. It will also be determined if weather conditions warrant delayed reporting. Personnel with questions regarding delayed reporting procedures should contact their direct leadership.


For current road conditions, call (605) 385-ROAD (7623). Road conditions and traffic information will be distributed through ADHOC, as well as posted on the Ellsworth Facebook page.

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