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20 hours ago

VTrans
Commentary: Winter Road Maintenance and Travel

By Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn           

At VTrans, we know how much you count on us to keep Vermont’s roadways safe for travel during winter weather and storms. This time of year, you’ll see our fleet of 268 plow trucks out in full force, plowing millions of miles of roads and highways and doing our part to keep you moving.

But for our crews to do their work safely and successfully, we need your help.

We monitor the forecasts around the clock every day, tracking snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, and storms that could affect your travel. We measure the air temperatures and roadway surface temperatures. We deploy our plows early, to get out in front of weather events and treat the roads.

We spread granular salt (also known as sodium chloride) in temperatures of 15 degrees or warmer, and magnesium chloride on those especially frigid days. Spreading salt efficiently takes time, requiring VTrans trucks to move at 25 mph. But salting the roads prevents snow and ice from bonding to the surface, preventing slippery surfaces that making traveling unsafe. So, try to be patient, slow down, and give the trucks plenty of room.

When snow, ice, or the infamous “wintry mix” starts to fall, the plows are down to clear the roadways. Again, effective plowing takes time, at a speed of 35-40 mph on highways and interstates. A typical plow route takes about two hours to complete, so even if you don’t see a plow truck right now, you’re likely to see one somewhere along your route. Again, please slow down, maintain a steady speed, and give the plow extra space.

Behind the scenes, our team is always researching new products, developing best practices for snow and ice control, and finding better ways to deliver up-to-date information about road conditions. We communicate with travelers on our website and social media, local television, radio, and more. Highway message boards alert you to emergent situations and remind you to slow down and stay alert. Our plow finder map also shows you the location of VTrans plows in real time. And, we send the new VTrans Road Conditions Report twice every day to media outlets across the state.

All of these efforts help us provide the best winter highway maintenance possible, because we know you’re busy and have places to go and people to see. If we both do our part, we can help everyone travel safely.

When winter weather hits, please remember to give yourself more time than usual, don’t make dramatic moves, keep a steady speed, use good judgment when passing a plow, and remember that when snow, sleet, or anything else is falling, road conditions will be compromised.

We can’t do the work of winter highway maintenance and safety without you.

List of winter road travel resources:

VTrans website, Winter Weather Central: https://vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/winter

Plow Finder: http://plowtrucks.vtrans.vermont.gov/

Highway Webcams: https://vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/rwis

New England 511: http://newengland511.org/Home/Index

VT-Alert: https://vem.vermont.gov/vtalert

VTrans on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VTransontheroad/

VTrans on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOTVermont

Commentary: Winter Road Maintenance and Travel

By Transportation Secretary Joe Flynn

At VTrans, we know how much you count on us to keep Vermont’s roadways safe for travel during winter weather and storms. This time of year, you’ll see our fleet of 268 plow trucks out in full force, plowing millions of miles of roads and highways and doing our part to keep you moving.

But for our crews to do their work safely and successfully, we need your help.

We monitor the forecasts around the clock every day, tracking snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, and storms that could affect your travel. We measure the air temperatures and roadway surface temperatures. We deploy our plows early, to get out in front of weather events and treat the roads.

We spread granular salt (also known as sodium chloride) in temperatures of 15 degrees or warmer, and magnesium chloride on those especially frigid days. Spreading salt efficiently takes time, requiring VTrans trucks to move at 25 mph. But salting the roads prevents snow and ice from bonding to the surface, preventing slippery surfaces that making traveling unsafe. So, try to be patient, slow down, and give the trucks plenty of room.

When snow, ice, or the infamous “wintry mix” starts to fall, the plows are down to clear the roadways. Again, effective plowing takes time, at a speed of 35-40 mph on highways and interstates. A typical plow route takes about two hours to complete, so even if you don’t see a plow truck right now, you’re likely to see one somewhere along your route. Again, please slow down, maintain a steady speed, and give the plow extra space.

Behind the scenes, our team is always researching new products, developing best practices for snow and ice control, and finding better ways to deliver up-to-date information about road conditions. We communicate with travelers on our website and social media, local television, radio, and more. Highway message boards alert you to emergent situations and remind you to slow down and stay alert. Our plow finder map also shows you the location of VTrans plows in real time. And, we send the new VTrans Road Conditions Report twice every day to media outlets across the state.

All of these efforts help us provide the best winter highway maintenance possible, because we know you’re busy and have places to go and people to see. If we both do our part, we can help everyone travel safely.

When winter weather hits, please remember to give yourself more time than usual, don’t make dramatic moves, keep a steady speed, use good judgment when passing a plow, and remember that when snow, sleet, or anything else is falling, road conditions will be compromised.

We can’t do the work of winter highway maintenance and safety without you.

List of winter road travel resources:

VTrans website, Winter Weather Central: vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/winter

Plow Finder: plowtrucks.vtrans.vermont.gov/

Highway Webcams: vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/rwis

New England 511: newengland511.org/Home/Index

VT-Alert: vem.vermont.gov/vtalert

VTrans on Facebook: www.facebook.com/VTransontheroad/

VTrans on Twitter: twitter.com/AOTVermont
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Comment on Facebook

Thanks for the info. I have one complaint: trucks need to drive slow when they plow or spread treatments. They are not traffic control. When I see a plow driving 25 mph with its blade up, nothing coming out of the back and a thick layer of snow on the road I get extremely angry. I have seen such a scenario numerous times in Franklin and Grand Isle counties. Our tax dollars are not meant to pay OT to drivers just driving around in diesel guzzling trucks. There is no reason and no excuse.

Most importantly, you can’t be in all places every minute of every day. In the end, be safe as your family wants you home after your shift, safe and sound. Thank you all so much.

Thanks you all

I would like to know how they determine which roads are priority. Obviously interstates come first.

So why are you choosing to only plow certain State roads at certain times?

Thank you for all that you do to keep the roads passable. You all rock!

I just read over at Rolling Stone that the brine being used on roads is comprised of radioactive material from fracking waste. After seeing what is happening to the pine trees along I89 and other roads in recent years, I am beginning to wonder what's going on. From the article: "— from being transported along America’s highways in unmarked trucks; handled by workers who are often misinformed and underprotected; leaked into waterways; and stored in dumps that are not equipped to contain the toxicity. Brine has even been used in commercial products sold at hardware stores and is spread on local roads as a de-icer." www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/oil-gas-fracking-radioactive-investigation-937389...

I haven’t seen trucks using sand in years is it because it’s more expensive than salt

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Snow and rain showers will continue across the region today and tonight, especially in the higher terrain. An additional 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected for mountain areas. Highs today will be in the mid to upper 30s.

Snow and rain showers will continue across the region today and tonight, especially in the higher terrain. An additional 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected for mountain areas. Highs today will be in the mid to upper 30s. ... See MoreSee Less


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