Road Crews have Surplus of Salt


Back at it again. Snow plow trucks are a winter staple on the roads, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the months ahead.

Holiday traveling and roadway safety go hand-in-hand this time of year. It’s the winter weather that can sometimes cause extra problems for drivers.

Transportation crews around the Wabash Valley are getting ready to lay down salt for our daily commutes.

Dan Bennett, Superintendent of the Vigo County Highway Department, is among those leading the movement, tracking preparations.

“It’s a GPS system that’s hooked to our radio system, and each one of these arrows indicates a truck, so we can come in and tell the whereabouts of all of our vehicles,” says Bennett.

The Vigo County Highway Department just added seven new crew members this year. Getting ready for winter season involves additional training before the snow.

“When we put them on the road to run the plow routes, we put the plows on the truck, and the spreaders on the back, so they get used to driving with the weight,” says Bennett.

Meanwhile, city crews are focused on the lingering fall leaf pick-up.

“We’ve been fortunate the past few years to get leaf pick-up done before there’s any snow, but we’ve also had years where it did snow, and we’re still picking up leaves in April. So we’re hoping the snow will hold off until mid-January, but you just roll the dice,” says Brad Miller, Terre Haute Transportation Director.

A mild winter last year means most crews are heading into the winter season with a surplus of salt.

But that doesn’t mean you should expect to see salt out early ahead of any snow storms. Officials say doing so is counter-productive. Traffic will just scatter it.

“We always get calls each year about, ‘why don’t you get out there when you know it’s coming, and put that salt down?’ Well the salt has to interact with the snow and sun and everything else, so you have to wait until it starts snowing in order to put it out,” says Miller.

Local transportation says based on forecasts, they expect a winter season closer to average this year with a possibility of more snow to plow.

WTWO News Checked on the current status of Terre Haute’s leaf pick-up. Next week, crews will be working on streets between Poplar and Wabash, and First Street to State Road 46.

This includes the Wyndham, Edgewood Grove, Woodridge, and Lincolnshire subdivisions.

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