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Delaware Headlines

DelDOT prepares for another potentially rough winter

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Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media
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Coping with winter weather may not be on your mind right now, but DelDOT is getting ready.

DelDOT’s went through its annual snowplow inspection Thursday, lining up snowplows at a maintenance yard in Middletown to give them a once over.  

 

The state employs as many as 500 people to operate 450 snow removal vehicles.

 

DelDOT secretary Jennifer Cohan says their snowplow operators are prepared to take on the snow, even if it proves to be as rough as the last couple winters.

“This is our pride right here. We do this inspection every year to make sure all of our people and our equipment is ready for whatever mother nature wants to throw at us so we are ready. We prepare for this all year long,” said Cohan.

 

Dennis Orlando has been removing snow in Delaware for nine and a half years and he says it’s tough work.

“It’s a little dangerous. Some people don’t give us respect on the highways and they ride too close to us and try to pass us on bad conditions. It’s all how you go about your job. Drive safe and get home to your family,” said Orlando.

And while the last two winters were rough, Orlando says the snow in Delaware isn’t as bad as the snow in Buffalo, NY, where he’s from.

DelDOT primarily uses salt, brine and sand to melt ice and snow on the roads. And in anticipation of snow and ice events, it might also pretreat the state’s highways with liquid salt brine to keep snow from bonding to the pavement.

But salting becomes less effective when, for example, the temperatures drop to single digits or snow is quickly building up on the roads. That’s when the snowplows are most needed.

In fiscal year 2014, DelDOT spent $18.3 million on storm recovery.

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