by Megan Trent
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 30, 2015) - The Indiana Department of Transportation and Department of Public Works are preparing for this weekend's big snowfall and closely watching area weather forecasts.
Nathan Riggs with INDOT says a number of tools are used to determine where resources are most needed. He says the next several hours will help them fine tune their snow removal strategy.
“We’ll get a better idea of what to expect; what type of precipitation, what amounts of precipitation, the tracking of the storm, the timing of the storm, so that we can most efficiently deploy our resources where they need to be before it gets here.”
Riggs says INDOT keeps a close eye on which areas are going to need the most attention, since a few small changes can lead to be differences in driving conditions.
“The forecast for Johnson County might be a little bit different than Hamilton County. That little bit of difference in temperature or snowfall accumulations could make a big difference in our plan of attack. So as we get closer to that storm, we can narrow it in and really hone in on our plan of attack for very specific locations," says Riggs.
Both INDOT and DPW officials say they have plenty of salt to last the rest of the winter.
“Compared to last year, we haven’t used nearly the amount of salt this year. But we still have a lot of winter left and we maintain a huge stock pile just in case. If we don’t need to use it, that’s fantastic for the budgets. We can always save that salt and reuse it next year and that’s less we have to purchase for the next season," says Riggs.
Scott Manning with the DPW says the city is prepared for this weekend's snowfall as well. He says the department has 90 trucks ready to go and crews ready to work in 12 hour, alternating shifts.
“Our drivers and our crews are prepping all of our trucks, our equipment, getting them loaded with salt and just making sure that as soon as the weather storm starts to impact us, we’re ready to go," says Manning.
Manning agrees that a few degrees change in the weather can impact how they tackle winter weather.
“It can have an impact on how much salt we use, when we put salt down, and at times we can even see snow impact a part of a county more-so than others," he says.
When the crews are out in full force, Manning asks that drivers give plows and salt trucks plenty of space.
“Give our trucks as much room as you can," says Manning. "Plow drivers have a lot of lane miles to cover."
Since the Super Bowl is taking place this weekend, Manning urges drivers to slow down if they plan on traveling to watch the big game.
"Plan on it taking a little bit longer than normal, give yourself extra breaking distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and always be on the lookout for potential black ice," he advises.