Surviving Winter: How PennDOT treats area roads

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While most of us were enjoying fall foliage, pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween this past month, PennDOT was hard at work preparing for the upcoming winter months.

David Kammerer, Assistant District Executive for Maintenance for PennDOT District 9 says they have been putting plows and spreaders on the trucks so there is proper usage and getting the operators out on the road.

Central Pennsylvania is covered by three PennDOT districts: 2, 9, and 10. Between all three, they cover over 12,000 snow lane miles, a term they use to describe the roads you drive on. With over 300 plow trucks in their arsenal, they used over 125,000 tons of salt and 1.5 million gallons of salt brine last year alone.

As we head into the winter months, PennDOT uses what they have learned from past years to come up with the best plan of attack.

“We are learning, every storm is different,” Kammerer said. “You can pick up things here or there. We adjust our snow routes, the way our trucks run.”

Salt in the primary weapon used to combat winter storms, but when a storm could cause icing on the roads, salt brine, more commonly known as salt water, is used.

Just like the postal service, each truck has its own route, but instead of mail, the trucks are filled with materials to keep snow and ice off the roads and your family safe inside your car.

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