Snowplows and tanker trucks in West Seattle – without snow?

(SDOT salt-solution-capable tanker truck, photographed in October)
Starting in less than an hour, SDOT will have tanker trucks like that one out around the city – then snowplows tomorrow morning — practicing the new snow plan, even though there’s not a flake in sight (though the weekend sleet/hail certainly caused a few flutters). Read on for the announcement:

Today the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will conduct a dress rehearsal of its aggressive new snow-fighting plan by deploying its snow response fleet on city streets. Starting this afternoon, motorists will see SDOT tanker trucks and snow plows conducting a citywide dry run of the new winter weather strategy.

“Our best practices based plan will keep major streets drivable this winter during
snow and ice storms,” said Grace Crunican, director of the Seattle Department of
Transportation. “This test run is another step in ensuring that Seattle is well
prepared to keep arterial roads open for public transit, emergency vehicles, and
others who must drive during bad weather.”

Starting at approximately 3:00 p.m. today, four tanker trucks will travel major
arterial streets throughout the city, pre-treating the pavement with what would be a
salt brine mixture (today it will be water) to keep snow and ice from accumulating.
The plan calls for pre-treating all the city’s level one and two streets when
adverse weather is forecast, maintaining bare and wet pavement for all travel lanes
on level one streets and one lane in each direction for level two streets. Drivers
are advised to stay 100 feet back from these trucks to avoid getting their vehicles
sprayed with what would be salt brine during a real operation.

Beginning at approximately 4:00 a.m., more than 20 trucks equipped with snow plows
will roll out of SDOT yards to follow the prescribed sequence and turns for each
snow route, confirming that each route is well defined and the time allotted is

During the exercise, managers will use the new GPS tracking system to follow the
vehicles’ progress, operate traffic cameras to “monitor storm conditions,” and use
temperature and humidity devices to help determine what materials and usage rates
are needed during an actual storm. Additional information about the new snow and ice
response plan can be found online

We reported on the new snow plan a month ago – here’s that story.

7 Replies to "Snowplows and tanker trucks in West Seattle - without snow?"

  • WS Steve November 9, 2009 (3:43 pm)

    Looks like Mayor McGinn is already tackling the problem of snow storm preparation. Huzzah!!

  • Chris November 9, 2009 (4:55 pm)

    How did you find any McGinn mention in this article? This looks like a reasonable (albeit overdue) approach by the outgoing city administration to the snow storm.

  • MrJT November 9, 2009 (5:15 pm)

    Still no mention of the real problem. When is Grace Crunican going to get FIRED ?

  • WSB November 9, 2009 (6:07 pm)

    MrJT – Our new mayor is on record as saying he didn’t expect to keep her in that job.

    among other references.

  • MrJT November 9, 2009 (6:20 pm)

    WooT WooT ! I hope she gets packed and out of town before the snow hits this year.

    Thanks TR

  • mark November 9, 2009 (6:55 pm)

    Just another reason to Like Mike. Less Baggage!!!

  • koni November 9, 2009 (8:01 pm)

    I expect McGinn to put the kabosh on the salt water application….not environmentally friendly enough for him ;)

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