PennDOT says it’s ready for annual winter event – Delco Times


MIDDLETOWN – It’s the season – the leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter and daylight saving time is ending. Next comes the dreaded “S” word – “SNOW!” With that in mind, PennDOT officials held a press conference on Wednesday to outline their plans for the upcoming winter season.

The event took place at the Bortondale Maintenance Facility with Tony Goreski, Delaware County Maintenance Manager for PennDOT, standing in front of a salt silo and next to large yellow snowplows.

“We want you to know, whatever the weather, PennDOT is ready this year,” Goreski said. “We have been preparing for winter since the end of the last one. It is an annual event.

Goreski said there is a budget of $ 23.4 million for winter operations in the District 6 area, which covers more than 11,000 kilometers of snow-covered lanes on freeways in the Philadelphia area. A snow-covered lane is calculated by multiplying the miles of road by the number of lanes, which means that a 1-mile section of four-lane road would equate to four miles of snow-covered lane.

District 6’s fleet consists of 182 state snow trucks and 254 private contractor trucks. They also have over 124,000 tons of salt on hand and thousands of gallons of brine. The number of contractor trucks and materials used for each event is determined by the severity of each storm.

PennDOT is ready for winter conditions Tony Goreski, Delaware County maintenance manager for PennDOT, said at a press conference Wednesday.

Goreski said contractors will normally be used with storms with more than 2-3 inches of snowfall.

To stay ahead of storms, the agency relies on traditional weather forecasts from local meteorologists, PennDOT weather experts as well as technology that has helped the agency make better use of real-time information. .

“Real-time information is essential. It’s something that we see progressing, becoming more equipped and adapting to that, ”said Goreski.

Every PennDOT truck and contractor is equipped with a tracking system that allows the public to visit the PennDOT website, www.511PA.com, and see which roads have been cleared using automated tracking technology. vehicles.

“The AVL technology system in each truck sends out a cellular signal indicating where each truck is at any given time,” he said. “Where were the trucks on national roads when they were last cleared of snow and where they are. “

In recent years, PennDOT has more than doubled its salt storage capacity and entered into a contract to replenish the material after each use.

“Over the years, PennDOT has increased its capacity in anticipation of running out of salt,” Goreski said. “Our crews are well trained for severe weather events and ready to provide the best possible winter service in the worst conditions. “

To speed up snow removal from roads, PennDOT has entered into an agreement with 91 local governments to clear snow and snow from their territory. The municipalities will then be reimbursed according to the kilometers of track traveled and the roads served. In southeastern Pennsylvania, that equates to 3,472 miles of snow-covered track, or nearly 30% of national highways.

In Delaware County, these communities include Collingdale, Marcus Hook, Ridley Park, Upland, Aston, Haverford, Marple, Newtown, Radnor, and Springfield. Goreski said Chester’s money issues kept him from participating.

PennDOT is ready for winter conditions, officials said at a press conference on Wednesday. (PETE BANNAN – DAILY HOURS)

Goreski said that PennDOT will primarily focus on freeways such as I-95 and 476, freeways and other major routes such as Route 202 and Route 1. Equipment can be redirected to these freeways when significant winter events; he also urged motorists to give the plows space to operate.

“If motorists encounter a plow on the roadway, they should slow down and drive at least six car lengths behind the plow to keep everyone safe. Motorists should never pass a plow because the plow blades are wider than the truck, ”said Goreski. “Our equipment operators have a huge responsibility during a storm when they are clearing snow; monitor the computers that control the salt flow; monitor pavement temperatures; and watch for traffic and possible roadside obstacles.

He said during storms the PennDOT team will keep the roads passable, not completely free of snow and ice.

“We always encourage people to avoid traveling during the winter if they can,” Goreski said.

In addition to announcing plans for the roads, Goreski said PennDOT is actively seeking seasonal employees and winter equipment operators to complement the department’s full-time staff. Details on minimum requirements, such as having a CDL, as well as application information, can be found at www.employment.pa.gov

On Thursday, November 4, a career fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Delaware County Maintenance Bortendale office, 426 S. Old Middletown Road, for openings in District 6.

Among the 40 vacancies they hope to fill are positions for drivers, diesel mechanics and welders as well as people working in dispatch offices.

PennDOT continues to seek the public’s help in keeping themselves and plow operators safe by slowing down, increasing their tracking distance, avoiding distractions and avoiding the road during winter storms. Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows there were 301 crashes resulting in four fatalities on winter roads where aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding or reckless lane changes were factors.

PennDOT officials have recommended motorists prepare for potential inclement weather by carrying an emergency kit in their vehicles. The kit should include non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, a small shovel, a cell phone charger, and any other items the family needs, such as baby or pet supplies and medicine . For more information on preparing for winter, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter.

Motorists can check winter conditions for over 40,000 miles of road by visiting www.511PA.com or downloading the 511PA app for iPhone and Android devices. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to over 1,000 speed cameras.

In the winter, Goreski also offered safety tips, the first of which was to slow down.

“Whatever the weather, sleet or precipitation, reducing your speed protects you and others on the road,” “Always wear your seat belt, turn on your headlights. State law requires that headlights are on when the wipers are on.Keep at least twice the normal stopping distance to avoid possible rear collisions with other vehicles, remember that bridges and raised ramps freeze up and have tendency for the road surface to be cooler than the highway.

Other tips he had were proper vehicle maintenance, including sufficient tread on the tires, good wipers and washer fluid, and an ice scraper or snow brush. to clean the car from snow. For long distance trips, he recommended a small snow shovel, flares or warning devices such as an orange triangle, a bag of salt or sand, a flashlight, jumper cables. , tire chains, and in-vehicle coverage if you get stranded.

“If you’re about to take a long drive or anytime you start in the morning, please check the top of your hood for snow. It is the law that it must be removed before hitting the road, ”he said.

About Ren Valdez

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