Road, Transit crews across the state
ready for season's first winter storm
(Trenton) - State roads crews and counterparts for the toll roads began moving salt from storage sheds into spreaders and plows today, while transit workers checked equipment and track in preparation for the first seasonal storm that is expected to lash New Jersey with a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain beginning prior to tomorrow’s morning rush hour.
“Motorists should know that as winter’s first storm closes in on New Jersey, across the State, crews are ready to begin clearing our highways and keeping our mass transit system moving,” said Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. “Our road crews and transit workers have a tremendous amount of experience fighting these storms. We know what’s coming and we are ready.”
The NJDOT will begin the snow season with approximately 130,000 tons of salt on hand for use on New Jersey's 16,000 lane miles of interstate and state highways.
NJ TRANSIT has inspected over 750 switches and switch heaters, overhead wire systems, 12 moveable bridges and wayside power at storage yards and terminals. Rail mechanical personnel have inspected and winterized 964 rail cars and 140 locomotives. The process includes checking the heating systems, ventilation, thermostats, weather stripping and electronic components, as well as changing filters and fuel used in locomotives from a summer to a winter blend.
Bus maintenance personnel have checked the heating systems, engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors and airbrake systems in NJ TRANSIT's 1,900 buses. Chains will be installed on bus wheels when heavy snow accumulates on roadways.
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the NJ Turnpike and Garden State Parkway are also preparing forces and marshalling resources. The NJTA will deploy 14 loaders and 110 trucks using 19,000 tons of salt for the roads on the Parkway. On the Turnpike, 150 trucks using 30,000 tons of rock salt will begin patrolling the roads before dawn. There will also be 120 contractor plow trucks on call.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Expressway, has filled salt domes at all three storage locations, fueled all vehicles will be fueled, loaded at least two vehicles at each location with salt and chemicals and placed all employees on standby alert.
To help keep crews informed on road conditions, NJDOT has 32 remote weather stations along the state highway system. These stations provide detailed information on weather and road conditions in specific regions of the state. The data provided by these stations includes air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, road and bridge surface temperatures, whether the pavement is wet or dry, whether the salt has been applied and the type and intensity of precipitation. These weather stations augment weather forecasts supplied to NJDOT by a weather forecasting company.
NJDOT has more than 600 trucks ready to plow snow and spread salt. In the event of a major storm, NJDOT will augment its forces with up to 1,100 contractor trucks. Contractors have been assigned specific highway segments and will be called out on an as-needed basis.