PennDOT prepares for wintry weekend

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HARRISBURG, Pa. --- Department of Transportation (PennDOT) officials say they're "in for the long haul" over the next couple days.

Mike Crochunis with PennDOT Engineering District 8 said a mild winter so far has kept their material stockpile in good shape.

While precipitation has been few and far between, he said their crews are ready, particularly after a trial by fire snowstorm on November 15.

“Many of our guys have been in the fight already, right off the bat, and have had many opportunities to run their routes and see where they had issues maybe in that first snow storm, things that can get corrected," said Crochunis.

For Thursday's snow, Crochunis said crews will be working into the evening.

He said there is residual salt already on some of the roads, strategically placed on bridges and overpasses.

Crochunis said drivers should be mindful of their evening commutes Thursday as a taste of what is to come this weekend.

“Make plans, try to make sure you get to your destination by dinner time and just stay put in the overnight hours. Watch the weather and know before you go,” said Crochunis.

He said PennDOT is bracing for a "mess" come Saturday with a mix of rain, snow and ice.

They're planning different strategies on whether to use dry or wet salt, depending on the conditions.

They also plan to use salt and limestone on lesser traveled roads for the weekend.

Crochunis said they hope there is a lull in the storm on Friday so they can give crews rest before a potential around-the-clock weekend.

“We want to make sure that if they’re working a twelve hour shift, they’re getting eight hours of sleep and that they’re fresh and ready to go for the next day," said Crochunis.

PennDOT officials also ask driver to give crews space while they work on roads.

Their main concern is safety, particularly with concerns of materials or snow covering windshields, blinding drivers and those around them.

For more information on road conditions, visit 511PA.

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