Local, state highway departments prepare the roads for winter weather

Local News

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Both Vigo County and state highway officials say their preparations for this winter began months ago.

The Vigo County Highway Department is introducing new Esri GPS software that can better track which roads need attention during snow storms.

“So this software will utilize this GPS unit and it will be able to tell where that truck has been and kind of tell where it’s going as far as on its path and if that route is plowed or treated or not,” County Engineer and Highway Director Larry Robbins said.

Robbins said this software will save valuable time during a storm.

“Sometimes that snow event doesn’t cover the whole county or it doesn’t quite impact some areas harder than others,” Robbins said. “This will allow us to be able to coordinate that kind of mobility on the fly.”

The new software allows the highway department to send screenshots of which roads have been plowed and which have not.

“We can take that snapshot and at 5 a.m. we can take that snapshot of what roads have been treated, send that to the media, send that to the EMA and say ‘hey, everybody getting ready to go to work and everything else’,” Robbins said. “Here’s what’s been treated and here’s what’s not.”

As for the Indiana Department of Transportation, it is in the process of training its drivers for severe weather.

“Currently we have our snow plow drivers undergoing and going through our snow and ice training so things are happening before the first snowflake falls,” INDOT spokesperson Debbie Calder said.

“We get a lot of phone calls about, hey my road isn’t plowed yet,” Robbins said. “Well, if the main road isn’t plowed yet then chances are we haven’t gotten to your road yet. So we want to keep those main roads open and keep those plowed so everyone’s safe because that’s the predominant amount of traffic and then move on to those secondary roads at that time.”

The Vigo County Highway Department has 3,000 tons of salt ready to go for any winter situations.

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