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​Winter Facts

winter by the numbers infographic
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PennDOT has budgeted $220 million for the 2017-18 winter. This is based on the average of budget spent over the past five winters.

PennDOT maintains nearly 40,000 miles of state-administered roadway and 25,000 bridges, which translates to approximately 94,000 snow lane miles. Snow-lane mileage is calculated as the miles of road multiplied by the number of lanes — which means a 1-mile section of four-lane roadway would equal four snow-lane miles.

Resources available for this winter:

  • About 4,800 on-the-road workers are available to drive snowplows and other equipment.
  • About 240 trucks and their operators will be rented to assist with snow-removal operations.
  • More than 2,250 trucks, plows, and salt spreaders
  • 520 front-end loaders
  • 238 anti-icing units (trucks and slide-in units)
  • 47 snow blowers
  • More than 500 mechanics

Resources used last winter:

  • More than 732,000 tons of salt (2016-17)
  • More than 532,000 tons of anti-skid material (2016-17)

PennDOT pays an average of $59.54 per ton of salt, and about $18 per ton of anti-skid. Department forces also manufacture their own salt brine at a cost of less than 15 cents per gallon. The department has 63 facilities capable of making salt brine.

Each year, PennDOT estimates a budget for winter and spring maintenance activities. If winter operations exceed that expected budget, winter services will still continue. PennDOT will be plowing and treating state roads to keep them passable when winter precipitation strikes and we'll be fixing potholes. And thanks to Act 89, the state's transportation funding bill, we will continue resurfacing more roads and fixing more bridges.

It costs PennDOT about $70,000 to $130,000 for 1 mile of 1.5-inch bituminous overlay and about $15,000 to $25,000 for 1 mile of oil and chip.

During the 2016-17 winter, PennDOT spent more than $255 million to keep Pennsylvania highways free of snow and ice. Last winter's expenditures included:

  • $112 million in personnel
  • $9.4 million in rented equipment
  • $59 million in department equipment
  • $62 million in winter materials (salt and anti-skid)
  • $12.6 million in municipal agreements

This winter, PennDOT will award approximately 739 municipal contracts to municipalities for them to clear state roads within their jurisdiction.

Last winter, PennDOT used more than 9.8 million gallons of salt brine for anti-icing roadways before a storm event and to pre-wet road salt to reduce bounce and scatter during spreading activities.

Motorists can check conditions on state-owned roadways, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 825 traffic cameras. During winter, the public also can view the location hundreds of plow trucks on Pennsylvania's roads through the 511PA website.