The last time winter weather hit St. Louis, roads around the region were absolutely gridlocked with streets covered in ice, interstates backed up for hours and some students and teachers spending the night at school.

So, will it be different this time?

The MoDOT engineers gave a briefing of their plan just before 5 p.m. Wednesday evening. One thing they are not doing tonight is pre-treating the roads.

If you drive through the city you'll see the tracks of the pre-treatment already down. And other municipalities, we're told, are doing the same.

But jump on the highways where MoDOT is in charge and you will not see any pre-treating. MODOT thinks its best tool will be the plow.

There are a few reason for the different strategies on different roads. On higher volume, higher speed roads that 'pre-treatment' can blow away. But maybe the biggest factor — engineers say staying ahead of winter weather is as much an 'art' as it is a 'science.'

MODOT believes this will be a dry "plowable" snow, and they worry that pre-treating, especially in these cold temps where the chemicals are less effective, could actually cause the snow to stick to the ground.

They are very aware that the last storm did not go well, and say they do not want a repeat of last month's mess.

Illinois, on the other hand, snow crews have already been in action for 24 hours. That plan starts with the 2,400 tons of salt heading out of the IDOT supply station. 

Crews have been pre-treating roads and interstates in at least six counties in the metro east since Tuesday night. Engineers said they're focusing a lot of their resources in the I-70, I-64 corridor, and after the storm hits, they'll fan out to other areas.

Engineers said they expect this storm to be much more manageable than last month's ice storm.