CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) – The West Virginia Division of Highways acknowledged that they’re ready for the Christmas Eve snow.
A winter storm is anticipated to blanket most of West Virginia with three to 6 inches of snow starting on the afternoon of Thursday, December 24, and persevering with by Christmas Day.
Road crews with the WVDOH are ready for the problem, armed with 185 brand-new snowplows. “The 2020 equipment plan was the largest buy plan in the history of DOH,” mentioned Todd Campbell, assistant director of the WVDOH gear division in Buckhannon.
According to a launch, the preparedness was fueled by Gov. Jim Justice’s huge Roads to Prosperity development and upkeep program, Campbell mentioned state freeway officers licensed the acquisition of greater than $40 million in new gear for the Fiscal Year 2020, which started on July 1, 2019.
By comparability, the gear price range for the Fiscal Year 2021, which is at present underway, involves about $18 million, he mentioned.
Since July, Campbell mentioned, WVDOH has ordered and obtained 185 new snowplows. The autos embody 23 new single-axle Ford F-550 vehicles, able to carrying about three.5 tons of salt; 60 new mid-sized International vehicles, able to carrying about 7.5 tons of salt; and 102 two-axle Freightliner vehicles, every of which may carry about 15 tons of salt. The massive Freightliner vehicles will likely be a mainstay of the snowplow fleet, devoted to maintaining West Virginia’s interstate freeway system clear.
During spring, summer season, and fall months, the vehicles function conventional dump vehicles, hauling stone, or different development supplies that could be wanted. Come winter, every is fitted with state-of-the-art plows and salt spreaders to assist clear the Mountain State’s 555 miles of interstate, and greater than 34,000 miles of secondary roads.
Officials defined that along with their front-mounted plows, Campbell mentioned 20 of the large Freightliners are fitted with wing plows – further blades mounted on the correct aspect of the vehicles that can enable them to plow multiple lane at a time.
Some vehicles may also be outfitted to unfold salt brine, a combination of salt and water that permits street crews to pre-treat roads previous to unhealthy climate, making it simpler and cheaper to plow and salt roads as soon as the ice and snow arrive.
Campbell mentioned the brand new autos are extra fuel-efficient and ergonomic than earlier snowplows, a truth appreciated by drivers.
“You just reach over, and it’s all joystick,” mentioned Andy Estep, an gear operator with the WVDOH District 1 storage in Charleston. He mentioned the brand new gear makes an enormous distinction in WVDOH’s readiness to deal with unhealthy climate.
“We just want to make the roads as safe as possible for the general public,” Estep mentioned.
Campbell mentioned the know-how doesn’t come low cost. “You’re looking at about $22 million for just the tandem-axle trucks,” he mentioned. He mentioned WVDOH spent about $11 million for the brand new International vehicles and about $1.eight million for the F-550s.
The Roads To Prosperity program additionally allowed for freeway officers to purchase 30 new Gradall excavators, eight new paving machines, 10 new rollers, 20 street graders, and several other tractors, end-loaders, and trailers. These pavers had been in use by WVDOH crews on tasks all through the summer season.
WVDOH is reminding drivers to present snowplow drivers area to maintain everybody secure on the roads.
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