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Posted on: October 16, 2014

Pierce County road crews prepare for winter weather

Pierce County is preparing now for winter weather on county roads.

Road operations crews from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities will spend Oct. 20 and 21 traveling their snow plow routes, setting up and recalibrating equipment, and reviewing the county’s Snow and Ice Response Plan in anticipation of winter weather.

“While mild weather is expected this winter, we will be ready to respond to snow and ice on county roads,” said Bruce Wagner, Public Works and Utilities road operations manager. “Residents can also prepare by making sure their car is in good working condition and putting together an emergency kit for their car that includes blankets, a flashlight, warm clothes and non-perishable foods.”

Residents can find suggestions for creating a three-to-seven day emergency kit for vehicles and winter driving tips at www.piercecountywa.org/winterwise.

About Pierce County snow and ice response
Pierce County maintains 3,150 lane miles of roadway in unincorporated Pierce County. Approximately 1,517 lane miles are identified as key arterial and lifeline routes that connect residential areas to service centers and state highways. The level of service these roads receive during winter weather is determined by several factors, including weather conditions, the classification of the roadway, and available resources.

“Our priorities during a snow and ice event are major arterials, lifeline emergency routes, access roads to highways and freeways, and Pierce Transit and school bus snow routes,” said Wagner. “If you can get out of your neighborhood and reach a key arterial during snow and ice events, you will likely find a drivable road.”

When a severe winter storm is forecast, Pierce County’s plan provides that crews apply anti-icing products to key arterials and lifelines routes assuming all resources are available. If heavy snowfall affects roads countywide, plow trucks with de-icing materials are deployed 24 hours a day when all resources are available until conditions improve.

The public can reach the Public Works and Utilities Road Operations Division 24 hours a day at (253) 798-6000 with requests for service. They may also fill out a Request for Action at www.piercecountywa.org/rfa.

Media Advisory: Media invited to Oct. 20 Snow and Ice Day
Media outlets are invited to get footage of road crews preparing for winter weather from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Central Maintenance Facility at 4812 196th St. E in Spanaway.

Crews will be hooking up snow plows, installing chains and testing the application rates of anti-icing products during that timeframe. Public Works and Utilities staff will be available for media interviews.

Earlier in the day, crews will review the Snow and Ice Response Plan, protocols for staying safe while working around power lines, and the department’s weather forecasting tools. On Oct. 21, they will drive their assigned snow and ice routes to become familiar with the road surface before it gets covered with snow.

Visit www.piercecountywa.org/winterwise to learn more about Public Works and Utilities’ winter services.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Bruce Wagner, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities road operations manager
bwagner@co.pierce.wa.us
(253) 798-6051

Anne Radford, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities public information officer
aradfor@co.pierce.wa.us
(253) 798-2464

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