Thursday, October 31, 2013

County Prepares for Winter Storm Season

On October 30, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, Division of Highway Services (DHS), conducted an all-day exercise to test the preparedness of the County’s snow plans and fleet. Snow plow operators ran snow routes on the nearly 5,000 lane miles of County-maintained roads as staff handled a simulated eight-inch snow storm.

Two days later, DHS held its Snow Summit at the new Gaithersburg Depot, home to the largest salt barn on the east coast. Officials from all County agencies with snow removal responsibilities gather at the annual event to assess their readiness for winter storms and discuss new initiatives.

This year, DHS is introducing a new Road Weather Information System consisting of four pavement monitoring stations that will be strategically placed in areas of the County that experience different microclimates. The stations will monitor pavement temperature, humidity, dew point, ambient temperature and “grip factor.” When environmental conditions are conducive to producing black ice, ice or slippery conditions, the stations will send automatic notifications to DHS so it can take proactive measures to treat the pavement.

Check the County’s website for more information and frequently asked questions about snow removal operations.