SHA Announces Its Storm Plan Ahead Of Wintery Weather

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—With wintery weather creeping into our forecast, the State Highway Administration is on alert.  WJZ was there as they introduced this year’s storm plan.

Monique Griego has the details.

Even though a major snowstorm isn’t in the forecast, the SHA is already gearing up to clear the roads for whatever problems we face.

The SHA is mobilizing its crews.

They have to be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to plow or de-ice roads and keep them safe for drivers.

“Snow and ice removal take precedence over all of the rest of our maintenance activities. Crews are ready 24-7, seven days a week,” said Melinda Peters, SHA.

Tuesday, agency leaders mapped out their plans and resources for the 2013 – 2014 winter season.

This year SHA’s budget is $46 million. That money is used to clear 17,827 miles of highway.

“We try to be prudent with our money, but safety will always come first,” Peters said.

Pre-treating roads and de-icing them with salt are two tools used to battle wintery weather.

But snow plows are their main enforcer.

A new truck with a winged plow is proving to be a huge asset.

“You can move a lot more snow, clear twice as many lanes,” said Richard Brown, snow plow driver.

The agency also wants to remind drivers that if you see a snow plow get out of the way. Don’t crowd it because if it’s you or them, the snow almost always wins.

“People you know tend to speed around the truck and wind up on the side of the road,” Brown said.

At SHA’s command center, crews are constantly monitoring roads, checking for anything from ice to accidents. They, along with workers on the road, are a driver’s first line of defense from a storm.

“No matter what Mother Nature throws at use, we will make sure our forces are ready to respond,” Peters said.

Even though most would consider last year’s winter mild, the SHA still responded to a lot of emergencies–mostly due to icy conditions.

For more information on camera and road conditions, click here.

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