The District revamps winter maintenance plan

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WASHINGTON -- In January of 2016, just one storm dumped almost two feet of snow on the Washington metropolitan area.

Snow fell relentlessly, and officials said it was hard to get ahead of the storm.  Ultimately the District spent about $55 million dollars on snow removal.

A year later, the district survived the first snow of 2017.  While it was not a blizzard, Christopher Shorter, Director of Public Works, said the District’s snow team is far more prepared this time for what winter may bring.

“We’ve been trained, we’ve bought equipment, and we’ve made sure that we have the kind of winter maintenance plan that we need going into this season to be effective,” said Shorter.

In fact, Shorter told DCW50, the Public Works Department revamped its whole winter maintenance plan.

“Last year, there were just as many contractors at one point as there were district government vehicles, those contracted trucks were not connected to our AVL system because they were not city owned,” explained Shorter.

The AVL system is used to track snow plows and better determine which roads have been cleared and which ones still need attention

“This year, we have replaced our AVL system and we now have mobile devices that our contractors will actually place in the trucks so that contractor vehicles will also be monitored and tracked as well,” Shorter continued.

In theory, the upgrade and other investments made should make for better pretreating processes and more efficient snow removal.

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For information on warming centers and emergency shelters open during dangerously low temperatures:

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