PennDOT Highlights Winter Preparedness, Employment Opportunities Across Philadelphia Region
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) held a briefing Wednesday at the Delaware County maintenance facility in Middletown Township, Delaware County, to highlight its winter preparations and employment opportunities across the five-county Philadelphia region.
“We are actively recruiting statewide and in the Philadelphia region for winter employees to help with duties such as plowing, dispatching and maintenance,” said PennDOT Delaware County Maintenance Manager Tony Goreski. “We are welcoming people to join our well-trained crews who will deliver the best possible winter service.”
PennDOT is seeking temporary equipment operators for the winter season to supplement the department’s full-time staff. Temporary positions many times lead to longer-term employment opportunities and District 6 welcomes people to join their team. Details on minimum requirements, such as possession of a CDL, application information , and listing of temporary and full-time positions are available at www.employment.pa.gov.
District 6 is responsible for over 11,000 snow-lane miles on state highways in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. When winter weather hits, PennDOT’s primary focus is on interstates, expressways, and higher-traffic roads and will continue to keep all routes passable. During larger storms, lower-traffic roadways may take longer to address but PennDOT will continue to plow roads until the storm ends and roads are cleared.
“Our equipment operators have an enormous amount of responsibility during a storm as they plow snow; monitor computers that control the flow of salt; track pavement temperatures; and watch for traffic and possible roadside obstacles,” Goreski added. “We ask for the public’s patience while we make sure our roads are passable and safe for everyone.”
With $26 million budgeted for this winter’s operations in the region, the District 6 fleet consists of 182 state snow trucks and 254 private contractor trucks and has over 128,000 tons of salt on hand. The number of contractor trucks and materials used for each event is determined by the severity of each storm.
Assisting PennDOT this winter in the Philadelphia region are 91 municipalities that entered into winter maintenance agreements covering more than 3,500 snow lane miles, whereby local crews salt and plow specified state roads in each municipality.
Safety is PennDOT’s top priority as it continues to ask for the public’s help in keeping themselves and snowplow drivers safe by slowing down, increasing their following distance, avoiding distractions, and staying off the road during winter storms.
Last winter in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows there were 266 crashes resulting in two fatalities on winter-weather roadways where aggressive-driving behaviors such as speeding or making careless lane changes were factors.
If motorists encounter a snowplow on the roadway, they should slow down and drive at least six car lengths behind the plow to ensure safety for everyone. Motorists should never pass a snowplow because plow blades are wider than the truck.
PennDOT recommends that motorists prepare for potential bad weather by carrying an emergency kit in their vehicles. The kit should include non-perishable food, water, first-aid supplies, small shovel, cell phone charger and any other items necessary for families to have, such as baby or pet supplies, and medications.
For more information on winter guidelines, operations, and safety visit www.PennDOT.pa.gov/winter.