State Highway Crews Ready to Battle Blizzard Anew - Southern Maryland Headline News

State Highway Crews Ready to Battle Blizzard Anew


Crews Replenish Salt Supplies Statewide; Drivers Should Expect Icy Conditions, Limited Travel Lanes and Merge Areas through End of Week

BALTIMORE (Feb. 09, 2010) – With a second blizzard bearing down on Maryland before crews are finished cleaning up from the historic weekend storm, the State Highway Administration (SHA) is again imploring Marylanders to stay home and off the roads. Covering nearly 17,000 lane miles of state highways, crews concentrated efforts on moving snow with front end loaders, replenishing supplies and fueling up trucks. Additionally, SHA today pre-treated bridges, ramps, curves and hills with salt brine to prevent ice from bonding to the surface in advance of the storm.

“SHA will do everything we can to keep one lane passable during the upcoming blizzard,” said SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen. “With 50 mph winds forecasted, driving will be extremely dangerous. We need people to heed the warnings and stay home.”

SHA maintains the non-toll, numbered, non-toll routes, which are labeled as interstates (ex. I-495), US (ex. US 15) or MD (ex. MD 45) designated highways. For information on local roads, citizens should contact their local jurisdictions.

With high usage last weekend statewide, SHA is redistributing salt supplies among nearly 30 maintenance shops as salt is delivered from terminals at the Port of Baltimore. Crews used front end loaders to make room for additional accumulation, as plows are ineffective against packed ice.

Citizens are asked to remember that each team of SHA crews and contractors is assigned to plow and salt 20-25 mile routes along interstate, US and MD/State numbered routes. It can take a plow driver up to two hours to complete a route, including reloading salt. During a storm, it may appear that a route has not been plowed or treated with salt, but instead it is merely recoated due to the heavy rate of snowfall.

Motorists should never pass a snow plow or plow train. Snow plows and plow trains (multiple snow plows in tandem) require a large area to operate safely. Motorists should remember that the untreated roadway is ahead of the plows; the safer roadway is behind them.

For the latest weather and road conditions and to view live traffic cameras during the storm, citizens can log onto www.roads.maryland.gov and click on CHART. Customers may also follow SHA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mdsha or call the Winter Storm hotline at 1-800-327-3125 for a regularly updated message with weather and roadway conditions. If you need to report a non-emergency issue for a state highway, please log onto the website and click on the Service Request link from the “Contact Us” page.

Source: Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA)

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