PennDOT Budgeting $23M for Southeast PA Winter

MEDIA PA – More than $23 million has been set aside by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to pay for the coming winter’s road maintenance operations in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties, an agency official reported Wednesday (Nov. 3, 2021).

PennDOT’s fleet for the five-county District 6 region in southeastern PA consists of 182 state snow trucks and 254 private contractor trucks, that in the 2021-2022 season are prepared if needed to spread 124,000 tons of salt on hand. “Whatever the weather brings this winter to the Philadelphia region, PennDOT will be ready,” Maintenance Manager Tony Goreski declared.

District crews are responsible for clearing more than 11,000 snow-lane miles on state highways, the agency said. A snow-lane is calculated as the miles of road multiplied by the number of lanes, which means a one-mile section of four-lane roadway would equal four snow-lane miles. The number of contractor trucks and materials used for each event is determined by the severity of each storm.

Equipment operators “have an enormous amount of responsibility” during a storm, Goreski observed. Besides efficiently plowing snow, they also monitor computers that control the flow of salt, track pavement temperatures, and watch for traffic and possible roadside obstacles.

Agreeing to assist this winter across the region are 91 municipalities that will salt and plow specified state roads representing more than 3,400 snow lane miles.

When severe weather hits, PennDOT’s acknowledged its first focus is on interstates, expressways like U.S. Route 422 through western Montgomery County, and other major routes. Equipment may be redirected to those highways during significant winter events.

Drivers who encounter a snowplow on the roadway should slow down and stay at least six car-lengths behind the plow to ensure safety, PennDOT advised. It also added that drivers should never pass a snowplow, because plow blades are wider than trucks to which they’re attached.

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