PennDOT Highlights Winter Preparedness, Employment Opportunities Across Philadelphia Region
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today held a briefing at the Montgomery County maintenance facility in Norristown, Montgomery County, to highlight its winter preparations and employment opportunities across the five-county Philadelphia region.
“Whatever the weather brings this winter to the Philadelphia region, PennDOT will be ready.” said District 6’s Senior Assistant District Executive of Maintenance Din Abazi, P.E. “We have been planning for this winter since last winter ended and our crews are prepared to deliver the best possible service under the worst conditions.”
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.
With $21 million budgeted for this winter’s operations in the region, the District 6 fleet consists of 182 state-owned snow trucks and 263 private contractor trucks and has over 131,000 tons of salt on hand. The number of contractor trucks and materials used for each event is determined by the severity of each storm.
“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,” Abazi added. “We are actively recruiting statewide and in the Philadelphia region for winter employees to join our team and take on this challenging and rewarding work.”
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. 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.
Assisting PennDOT this winter in the Philadelphia region are 92 municipalities that entered into winter maintenance agreements covering more than 3,000 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, statewide in Pennsylvania, preliminary data shows there were 135 crashes resulting in one fatality and 61 injuries 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 PennDOT.pa.gov/winter.
Motorists can check winter conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com or downloading the 511PA application for iPhone and Android devices. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, snowplow tracking, traffic speed information, and access to