News Flash

Planning & Public Works

Posted on: October 7, 2015

Pierce County road crews prepare for winter weather

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

On Oct. 12 and 13, Pierce County road crews will travel their snow plow routes, set up and recalibrate equipment, and review the county’s Snow and Ice Response Plan in anticipation of winter weather.

“While it is unclear how severe winter weather will be in Pierce County this year, we will be ready to respond to snow and ice on county roads,” said Bruce Wagner, Pierce County Public Works road operations manager. “Residents can join us in preparing 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’s 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,” Wagner said. “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 calls for crews to 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 Pierce County Public Works 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.

Visit www.piercecountywa.org/winterwise to learn more about Pierce County’s winter services. The resource page includes information on snow and ice, flooding, windstorms, storm cleanup, winter celebrations, being prepared, and staying informed.

Media Advisory: Media invited to Oct. 12 Snow and Ice Day
Media outlets are invited to take footage of road crews preparing for winter weather from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Pierce County Central Maintenance Facility at 4812 196th St. E in Spanaway. Public Works staff will be available for media interviews.

Crews will be hooking up snow plows, installing chains and testing the application rates of anti-icing products during that timeframe. They will also be trying out a new chainsaw training area.

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. 13, they will drive their assigned snow and ice routes to become familiar with the road surface before it gets covered with snow.

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

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

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