It has some new features on its Storm App.
Hanover, Md (KM). When the snow and ice begin to fall, the Maryland State Highway Administration says ti’s ready. SHA Administrator Greg Slater says the agency has adequate supplies of salt and salt brine to keep the roads clear, and plow drivers and other personnel have received updated training.
“All of our equipment is up and ready to go. We started working on that at the end of last winter to make sure it all works and it’s all in working order,” he says. “We are ready to go if the forecast came tomorrow.”
SHA held its annual “Snow Show” event on Monday at its Statewide Operations Center in Hanover.
The agency says it has budgeted $71-million for the winter season. There are also 387,000 tons of rock salt at 93 facilities across Maryland, and 1.6-million gallons of salt brine at 77 facilities around the state. In addition, the equipment fleet and personnel force i up to 2,700, and that includes contractors.
Slater says citizens can keep track of SHA’s progress in clearing the roads during a winter storm though the agency’s Storm App. “The Storm App that we debuted last year was really about tracking our plows and winter fleet in real time,” he says “Now what we’ve done this year is we’ve integrated different components of other sites, and different tools into that technology”
“This year, when go into that site, you’re going to be able to see our truck cameras, so our video feeds from all of our roadways,” says Slater. “You’ll be able to see the pavement sensors now that will tell you whether a roadway is ice or snow or wet or dry, or whether it’s been salted. And you’ll be able to start to see that air temperature, that pavement temperature to make the right decisions for you.”
He adds that will determine whether you should to travel the roads, or wait until the winter precipitation has cleared.
In spite of all of this technology, Slater says it’s still important for motorists to use caution when they venture out. “So if you’re out there, give yourself extra time. And when you encounter some of out winter vehicles, give them some space. In front of them is the snow; and behind them is a much clearer roadway. You want to be behind them, but you want to give them enough space to operate,” he says.
Motorists can get real time travel information by logging on to md55.maryland.gov.
By Kevin McManus