CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Winter is coming and the West Virginia Division of Highways is making sure they are up and ready with their equipment and snowplows.

Snow removal and ice control is crucial for the WVDOH in the winter, especially in the Mountain State. They started the process in October by making sure plows and salt spreaders are working properly. This is extremely important for workers who will be working 12 hour shift routes.

“We are trying to spread the word that DOT is ready for winter, all the orgs across the state prepared in October, made sure that our trucks were well maintained, the plows fit, the spreaders’ function, and now we are ready just waiting for snow to come,” said WVDOH District 1 Maintenance Engineer Kathy Rushworth, P.E.

According to the DOT, a total of 231,000 tons of salt, and more than 1,000 snowplows will cover all 55 counties. Roads may be pretreated if a cold and dry storm is coming to prevent snow from sticking to the ground, making commute more feasible. It is not recommended to pretreat roads when the weather is wet and rainy as it would just wash the salt away.

The following are tips if sharing the road with snowplows:

  • If possible, stay off the roads until snowplows have done their job.
  • If you do have to go out, don’t follow plows closely or try to pass. They are concentrating on clearing snow and may not be able to see you.
  • Give yourself extra time because you should be more cautious and take your time when driving in snow and ice.

Brad Ross, a Transportation Worker 2 for the WVDOH gave some incite on how to be cautious on the road with plows at this time as well adding, “Whenever you see a salt truck out, you know, try not to pass, if the roads are bad, stay off the roads. You know, we’re all just here to do our own job, get home to our families, you know we’re ready for winter driving. We prepare all year for this.”