INDOT readies for upcoming winter season
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (November 20, 2015) — As Hoosiers prepare for their first taste of winter-like weather this weekend, the Indiana Department of Transportation has been preparing for the upcoming winter season since the snow and ice melted last spring. INDOT’s top wintertime priority is removing snow and preventing ice on more than 11,000 miles of interstates, highways and state routes.
Salt in stock
Last winter, nearly 278,000 tons of granular salt and 5.2 million gallons of salt brine were deployed on state and federal highways. INDOT continues to receive deliveries of salt and already has more than 193,000 tons on hand.
New plow equipment
Last winter, INDOT plow trucks logged nearly 5.7 million miles – the equivalent of 228 trips around the earth or 12 round trips to moon.
INDOT continues to add new equipment to its fleet of more than 1,000 plow trucks. A total of 10 “tow plows” will be used this year to clear multi-lane highways. The tow plow and material spreader are pulled behind and to the side of a yellow INDOT plow truck, allowing one driver to clear two lanes at once.
Each yellow plow truck undergoes a full bumper-to-bumper inspection, and mechanics will repair mechanical problems before the first winter storm.
Each yellow plow truck takes 2-3 hours to complete its route with salt assisting in melting between passes. In addition, INDOT has outfitted 50 marked white pickups with plows and material spreaders to clear ramps, intersections and trouble spots.
Hiring, training drivers
Last winter, INDOT staff logged 311,000 man hours performing winter operations. Mechanics, salt loaders and radio operators support plow drivers to keep the trucks running around the clock when needed.
INDOT has been holding job fairs and aggressively hiring seasonal and full-time plow drivers over the past few months. Applications are still being accepted for some locations at http://careers.in.gov. Both plow drivers and supervisors attend classroom training to learn new technology and techniques.
INDOT spent the warmer months resurfacing and sealing state highways to prevent water from seeping into the pavement and forming potholes.
During the current fiscal year, INDOT is awarding contracts to resurface 727 miles of state highways. In addition, INDOT maintenance crews sealed more than 1,200 lane miles this year. INDOT has increased its preservation and maintenance program since Governor Pence took office in 2013 to keep pavement and bridges in good condition for as long as possible.