With wind chills that could drop below zero degrees Friday morning, PennDOT officials are getting ready for the ice. "All of our trucks are fully manned and ready to go," said Jerry Hartman who's the Assistant Adams County Manager. 64 truck operators will take turns using the 32 trucks in Adams County to patrol the roads and lay down a combination of water and salt called brine, which they create right here in Gettysburg. They make it by dumping salt into a big tank filled with water and when it reaches the right consistency brine is created. So far they've saved $25,000 this winter by making their own brine.
The brine is crucial with cold temperatures like the ones we're experiencing because it freezes at negative six degrees. That's opposed to salt, which starts to lose its effectiveness when it's colder than 25 degrees. One of the machines they use to disperse it is called a tow plow, which kind of looks like a car sliding off the road, but it actually prevents that from happening. "It actually will swing out at an angle behind the plow. What that does is it allows us to treat two roadways, two lanes at the same time. It cuts down on the number of operators and the number of trucks that we need out there and allows us to be more efficient," said PennDOT spokesperson Fritzi Schreffler. PennDOT will use 310 trucks in the eight counties across central Pennsylvania to patrol roads and lay down brine. If needed they have almost 40 rental trucks as well.