Local road crews switch back to snow mode

WASHINGTON — An incoming storm has local road crews getting back into snow mode.

“This would actually be our first plows-down storm of the year, so we’re actually really excited about it,” Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Ellen Kamilakis said.

Northern Virginia has not yet seen a storm bring more than two inches this season, meaning big cost savings for transportation departments with crews looking ahead to spring.

VDOT had its workers getting the commonwealth prepared for spring showers.

“When we have 75-degree days [such as] last week and they are out doing drainage projects and tree trimming, and all of the sudden we have to switch back — we use the same trucks for everything,” Kamilakis said.

Once those trucks get their snow gear put back on, they will be sent out to get the region prepared.

“Our pre-treatment trucks are being filled up; some of them have already hit the road,” Kamilakis said. “Just to buy us a little bit of time at the beginning of the storm.”

Virginia’s northeastern neighbor is doing the same.

“We are pre-treating all of the main roads out in Montgomery, Prince George’s and pretty much all of the state of Maryland,” Charlie Gischlar, Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman, told WTOP.

Once snow begins falling, both states will wait until an inch or two pile up on the roads before hitting the pavement with the plows.

“What you’ll see up until then is going to be a treatment operation, which is going to be salt and sand in some of the neighborhoods,” Kamilakis said.

While it is a late-season storm, one benefit is the higher sun angle, which will help melt the snow.

“That’s why we are hoping that a little bit of salt and the plowing will get everything done good,” Gischlar said.

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