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County & State Road Crews Prepare for Winter Weather

The Germantown area could get one- to two-inches, maybe three-inches of snow tonight, and while the first flurries flittered their way to the ground Thursday afternoon, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services prepared for the winter wetness.

Division of Highway Services is preparing for this evening’s expected snowfall in a number of ways:

1. Last night and into the early hours this morning, DHS pretreated more than 1,000 lane miles of primary roads in preparation for tonight’s expected snowfall. DHS sprays salt brine (a mixture of salt and water) onto roads, which reduces the snow’s ability to bond to pavement, making it easier to remove.

2. DHS is pre-positioning snow plows along all primary routes at 4:00 pm so they will be ready to treat roads when needed.

3. DHS is activating its Storm Operations Center at 4:00 pm to manage response the expected storm and it will stay open throughout the night.

Although only about an inch of snow is expected throughout most of the County, it could begin during the evening rush hour, which in the past has caused major traffic tie ups. Residents are urged to keep an eye on the most current weather reports and adjust their travel plans accordingly.

Residents are reminded that the County removes snow from its more than 5,000 lane miles of roads. However, the State Highway Administration handles snow removal from all numbered roads– which includes most of the main commuting routes in the County.

And the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) began pretreating roads and interstates yesterday in advance of storm. SHA also sprays salt brine on roads to prevent snow or ice from bonding to the pavement.

“The storm is expected to impact Friday morning’s rush hour, which presents challenges for SHA crews as they become stuck in the same traffic as everyone else,” said SHA Administrator Gregory C. Johnson, P.E. “We ask that travelers make smart and informed travel choices Friday morning by delaying commuting to enable crews to effectively treat roads.”

Video: Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration (SHA) crews are out pretreating roadways like I-70 in anticipation of the first accumulating snowfall of the season.