DPW, INDOT drivers activated to handle wintry forecast

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - Officials with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (DPW) and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) say they are ready to handle winter weather in the forecast this week.

The Weather Authority forecast is calling for rain turning to snow Monday night.

Indy DPW announced Monday they will have 33 drivers report to work Monday evening at 6 p.m. to begin treating roadways as needed and monitoring conditions. At 11 p.m., the number of drivers will increase to 70, DPW said.

“Drivers will address bridge decks, overpasses and major thoroughfares where needed to prevent hazardous road conditions,” DPW Spokesperson Betsy Whitmore said in a statement. “DPW will remain on roads through Tuesday morning to address changes in weather.”

INDOT says they have 70 drivers ready to report in around 10 p.m. Monday night to patrol and treat roadways as needed.

“We’ll stay activated through rush hour tomorrow should conditions warrant that,” INDOT Spokesperson Scott Manning said in a statement.

Two weeks ago, DPW and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the DPW fleet would include eleven new salt and plow trucks this season, with four more on the way. DPW Director Dan Parker said the department starts the season with 24,000 tons of salt, which means all the city’s salt barns are full.

Manning said late last week that INDOT drivers had spent the prior few days treating bridge decks with a salt brine mix that helps prevent moisture from freezing to paved surfaces.

Both agencies urged drivers to keep an eye on the forecast and be mindful of conditions before starting their commute. They also asked drivers to be patient and give salt truck drivers plenty of room to do their jobs.

“Do not try to cut off a snow truck,” Parker said. “It is a 20-ton truck with 6-tons of salt in the back. It is not something you should play with.”

“Be patient, slow down, make sure your vehicle is in good condition, ready for winter weather driving,” Manning said. “Make sure you’ve got an emergency kit on hand.”

You can monitor DPW snow removal efforts on their online Indy Snow Force Viewer. You can also check highway and interstate travel conditions on INDOT’s TrafficWise website.

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