NYS DOT Region 9 prepares for winter season

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 9:54 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) - “In New York, we have an elite snow fighting force and we are going to be ready to handle anything that Mother Nature throws at us,” said New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) Region 9 Public Information Specialist Scott Cook.

It may have been a mild September day Monday, but eventually, snow will be covering the roads throughout Region 9. “Right now, it’s the end of September,” said Cook. “We’re pretty heavy into snow and ice preparations already.”

Cook went over what goes into the winter preparation. “It includes making sure that all the equipment is up-to-date, maintained properly, and is in working order and ready to go,” he said. In addition, during this time, Cook said trucks get plow blades, they have to train operators, and more.

To set up the region for success, Cook said they begin posting for winter help as early as July. “So right now, we do have openings. However, we are a nimble agency,” he said. “We’ve got over 3,000 operators and supervisors across the state who are ready to go into action if they need to go from region to region they will. If they need to go from county to county they will.”

Region 9 crews will have somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 tons of salt. However, they’re not expected to use the entire supply. “We have the automated salt spreaders that are set to prescribed amounts that we stick to, we train our drivers in best practices,” said Cook. “We do what we call pre-wetting or brining to make less salt stick better.”

Ahead of the winter, Cook has some advice for motorists. “Please leave room for the plows,” he said. “There’s no place safer on a road during a snowstorm than a safe distance behind a plow. That’s going to be the clearest road. Don’t try to pass them.”

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