DOT Cautions Residents, Businesses Pandemic Restrictions Could Affect Storm Operations

The county’s Department of Transportation is cautioning residents and businesses that pandemic-related restrictions on personnel could slow the department’s response in areas affected by a winter storm.

Under normal circumstances, staff, crews and contractors eat and sleep at county depots until all roads are cleared. This year, according to a press release, precautions include:

  • Limiting the number of staff permitted inside depots
  • Prohibiting non-essential staff or contractors inside depots facilities
  • Providing isolated and socially distanced areas in the depots where staff can rest and eat
  • Permitting no passengers in vehicles/plows
  • Mandating masks while in depots, and
  • Making the Storm Operations Center entirely virtual.

Crews began arriving Tuesday to pretreat area roads with salt brine to prevent frost and ice from forming, making snow removal easier.

The county policy is to start clearing about 5,200 miles of county-maintained roads when the snow reaches three inches in depth.

During a storm, crews will concentrate on keeping about 1,000 miles of primary and arterial routes clear to the pavement to ensure emergency vehicles have access.

Once the snow stops and those roads are clean, crews will begin to work on neighborhood streets to make them passable. Operations continue until all streets have been cleared.

Residents and businesses can enter their street address, street name and zip code online to get that street’s snow removal status.

Additional storm-related information is available online.

Photo by Mike Diegel

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