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PennDOT Shares Winter Preparation Tips for Public

11/07/2019

Pittsburgh, PA – As the winter season approaches, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), outlined the District’s plans for winter maintenance services and encouraged the public to be prepared ahead of the first accumulating snow fall. 

“District 11 prides itself on providing quality winter maintenance services to our customers,” said PennDOT Allegheny County Maintenance Manager, Lori Musto. “As the Department values the safety of the traveling public, our crews spend months preparing for the winter season.”

PennDOT winter maintenance within Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties begin planning winter operations in the middle of summer each year. With over 54,000 tons of salt and 125,000 gallons of brine currently on-hand, Department forces are ready to work to make the roads passable for motorists this winter using the compliment’s125 plow trucks.

When snow hits, PennDOT’s primary focus is on interstates and expressways. The more traffic volume a roadway has, the more attention it will receive from plows. There may be more accumulations on less-traveled streets and driving routes should be adjusted accordingly.

Motorists can always check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by using the 511PA free smartphone app, by calling 5-1-1, or by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 950 traffic cameras.

Locally, when winter roadway emergencies occur on state roads, District 11 will utilize its social media platforms to announce closures and interstate restrictions. This information can be found at www.twitter.com/511PAPittsburgh (follow @511PAPittsburgh) or the new Pittsburgh Area Facebook Group at www.facebook.com/groups/pittsburghpenndot (join ‘Greater Pittsburgh Area PennDOT’).

Additionally, motorists should prepare their vehicles for the winter by checking fluid levels, lights, defrosters and windshield wiper blades. Tires should also be checked often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to safely perform on ice and snow.

Once vehicles are travel-ready, drivers should be prepared for winter or vehicle emergencies. PennDOT urges the traveling public to carry an emergency kit, which should include items such as non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel. The kits should be tailored to the specific needs of the individuals in the vehicle, with items such as baby supplies, extra medication, pet supplies or even children's games.

Drivers should properly clear their vehicles from snow and ice before getting on the road, especially from the roof, trunk and hood. Drivers can be cited for not clearing their vehicle if snow and ice are dislodged and strike another, causing a crash.

PennDOT also reminds motorists when encountering a plow truck on the road, give it plenty of space. The areas close to the sides and behind a plow truck are considered the “No Zones.” Drivers should avoid this area and never try to pass a plow truck. This becomes a dangerous situation for everyone involved.

For more information on PennDOT's winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter. The site also has a complete winter guide with detailed information about winter services in each of PennDOT’s 11 engineering districts.

For more PennDOT information on highway safety, visit www.penndot.gov/safety.

For regional twitter updates, visit www.twitter.com/511PAPittsburgh.

MEDIA CONTACT: Yasmeen Manyisha, (Office) 412-429-5044

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