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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In addition to PennDOT and the Pa. Turnpike announcing road restrictions for Wednesday morning, the City of Pittsburgh announced it is preparing for the snow and freezing rain to prevent the issues that occurred in the area earlier this month.
PennDot crews have been hard at work all day prepping for the snow and freezing rain. They’ve been filling up the trucks with a brine mix to pretreat the roads and doing maintenance on the trucks to make sure they’re ready to go after the evening rush.
“With this storm with the higher temperatures we are able to pretreat roads. That last storm in February with subzero temps we weren’t able to pretreat,” said Lori Musto with PennDOT District 11. “We are coming out at midnight tonight with full complement. We 69 trucks scheduled out tonight. And we will remain on throughout the duration of storm.”
Public works officials with the city strongly stress to drivers to avoid the city hills and find an alternate route. They even advise parking your car at the bottom of a hill if you can and walking to your car in the morning to avoid driving on those hills.
“Every snow event is a challenge and dealt with differently,” said City of Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable. “That’s exactly how crews with the city are looking at Wednesday morning’s storm. At the same time, they’re doing what they can do prevent commuters from sitting in traffic for hours like some did during the last storm we had at the beginning of the month.”
The Department of Public Works will be treating streets overnight and then switching to plow mode once snow begins to accumulate. Night turn crews will begin prepping roads just after midnight and daylight crews that normally begin work at 6 a.m. will be brought in four hours early, according to the city.
The city will have about 71 vehicles prepping streets overnight, and when significant snowfall occurs another 36 with plows will be added.
“Drivers need to proceed with caution and choose the best route in getting to work or other destinations,” Gable said. “Those living on or near hillsides should consider going a little out of their way to stay on level ground whenever possible.”
Public Safety is also prepared for the snow event, with EMS having four-wheel drive vehicles in service.
Parts of Westmoreland County are also under a winter storm warning. Road crews say they are ready with their plan of attack. So are the power companies.