PennDOT was prepared for winter storm

The forecast was dire, but PennDOT was ready.

“We knew it was coming,” Roadway Program Coordinator Bill Kulinski said. “We were definitely prepared for it.”

“We got close to a foot in areas,” Kulinski said. “It was a wet, heavy snow.”

That snow worked to bog down plowing efforts and added some additional obstacles.

“The heavy snow causes problems with plowing, how it packs up,” he said. “We also had a few trees down.”

But the trucks held up. Kulinski reported very few mechanical problems with the plow trucks.

A crew of about five mechanics was on duty through the night making sure the department’s 25 trucks could keep pace with the requirements of the 24 routes through the county.

“We had hardly any breakdowns,” he said. “Throughout the storm, fortunately, all our equipment held up.”

The drivers put in extra hours to make the roads safe for travel.

PennDOT is still on a 7:30 to 3:30 schedule, but the drivers, mechanics, and supervisors know their roles when they are called in before or after hours.

One crew worked Tuesday through midnight. The other came in to relieve them at midnight and worked through the morning hours, Kulinski said.

Materials were, and still are, plentiful.

“All our stockpiles are pretty well full with anti-skid, salt and brine,” he said.

A tally of materials used Tuesday and Wednesday will not be available for about two weeks.

PennDOT asks motorists to slow down during inclement weather. “Especially when they see a truck,” Kulinski said. “Try to move over and give them plenty of room so they don’t have to worry about running into somebody.”

While driving in snow can be hazardous, sometimes a snow-free road is more dangerous. “When the roads are wet… they’re probably going to freeze up in spots,” he said. “That can be pretty dangerous. People look at the roads and think they’re all right and speed up.”