NJDOT announces winter storm preparedness
(Trenton) -Commissioner Stephen Dilts today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is prepared to clear snow and ice from roadways statewide. NJDOT has filled its salt and liquid calcium inventories, fitted its trucks with plows and is ready to deploy personnel to ensure motorist safety.
Equipment and material
NJDOT is ready to deploy more than 540 state owned trucks to plow snow and spread salt on New Jersey's 15,829 lane miles of interstate and state highways. In the event of a major storm, NJDOT will augment its forces with up to 1,234 contractor trucks. NJDOT maintains 809 supervisors and drivers and 480 trained volunteers to administer its winter readiness program. NJDOT begins the snow season with approximately 118,630 tons of salt and 508,850 gallons of liquid calcium on hand. The material is housed at 71 salt storage facilities statewide.
Highly efficient pre-treated salt
NJDOT has procured salt that is pre-treated with products that eliminate the need to apply liquid calcium chloride, thereby reducing dependence upon and maintenance of mechanized spray equipment. The pre-treated salt is cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
NJDOT installed a skid resistant overlay that absorbs anti-icing chemicals and then releases them when weather conditions demand protection from the formation of ice and snow on the roadway. The overlay, installed on Route 80 in Paterson, will help prevent crashes and improve safety.
NJDOT will again operate an anti-icing station on I-78 at Jugtown Mountain in Bethlehem Township, Hunterdon County. This system uses liquid potassium acetate to prevent icing conditions.
Expanded brine treatment
NJDOT will use brine solution, which is a mixture of salt and water, to prevent icing by pre-treating select segments of state highways and 25 percent of the New Jersey interstate highway system. The use of brine solution saves taxpayer dollars and enables NJDOT to more efficiently clear roadways.
In order to prepare for the upcoming winter season, NJDOT performed readiness exercises called Operation Checkout to practice strategic deployment, equipment preparedness and management of weather stations and emergency operations centers. The exercises ensured that all systems are operating satisfactorily.
Weather monitoring stations
NJDOT maintains 32 remote weather stations to help keep crews informed of road conditions on the state highway system. These stations provide detailed information on weather and road conditions in specific regions of the state, including air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and road and bridge surface temperatures.
NJDOT partner agencies
NJDOT's partners at NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) and the South Jersey Transportation Authority are working with NJDOT to maintain safe conditions during the winter months. 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 961 rail cars and 100 diesel locomotives. Bus maintenance personnel have checked the heating systems, engine fluids, tires, windshield wipers, doors and airbrake systems in NJ TRANSIT's 2,100 buses. Equipment for plowing snow and spreading salt at NJ TRANSIT facilities such as bus garages and park-n-ride lots has also been readied for use. Two snow blowers powered by jet engines are ready to clear ice and snow from tracks and switches. Snow plows for diesel locomotives are ready for use.
NJTA, which operates the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, also is marshalling its resources. NJTA is prepared to deploy 295 trucks using 53,000 tons of salt for the roads on the Parkway. Over 300 additional contractor plow trucks will be on call.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Expressway, has filled salt domes at its three storage locations with over 4,000 tons of salt and is prepared to fuel and load at least 50 vehicles with salt and chemicals.
Real time traffic information, including weather-related incidents, is available at www.511nj.org.