ND Department of Transportation prepares for winter year-round


Getting ready for winter is a yr-spherical course of, stated Aaron Auer, upkeep coordinator for the NDDOT’s Dickinson district. Salt is usually ordered in July after which staff begin effective-tuning the vans and getting issues prepared.

It value the state about $24.2 million through the 2016-17 winter season to cope with snow and ice, together with gear, labor and materials. The price was about $17.5 million in 2015-sixteen.

A complete of 350 snowplows at a price of about $200,000 every are used all through the state, in accordance with the NDDOT. A lot of the DOT’s 39 plow vans are about the identical measurement, however there are additionally a couple of bigger vans, stated Rob Rayhorn, Dickinson district engineer. One of many bigger vans is snow-blower-sort car that helps clear out areas akin to overpasses which will refill with snow throughout a blizzard.

Thirty-two tow plows might be used this winter. Every tow plow, that are trailer-mounted plows pulled by a snowplow truck, prices roughly $one hundred forty,000 and may carry as much as 2,000 gallons of liquids. The division additionally has a bidirectional tow plow.

The mixture of snowplow vans and tow plows can clear a a lot wider path than a single snowplow.

“That is why individuals need to be actually cautious once they’re passing a plow,” Rayhorn stated. “Particularly when you might have that tow plow, you could have the plow in a single lane, nevertheless it’s obtained that tow plow within the different lane and you may’t assume you recognize which lane the plow is in.”

He stated it’s also essential to be vigilant and affected person round snow plows. Individuals ought to activate their lights and drive in response to the street circumstances.

Auer stated ninety % of the time the division solely makes use of salt on the roads when it begins to get icy, however typically a mix of salt and brine is used, which works quicker.

“(Typically) we’ll do anti-icing,” he stated. “If we have got a climate occasion that is coming in with freezing rain that is predicted or a snow occasion with moist, heavy snow the place it’s going to compact on the street, we’ll attempt to get forward of it and put down some salt brine. … Consider it like cooking spray for the street. (You don’t need) meals sticking to the pan. Properly, we do not need ice to bond to the street.”

The NDDOT and the Freeway Patrol work collectively to find out when to concern journey advisories through the winter, however the determination is finally as much as the Freeway Patrol when to shut roads, Rayhorn stated.

A number of instruments can be found for individuals to rise up-to-date climate info earlier than they hit the street throughout a winter storm:

• The NDRoads app, which…



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