The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration hosted its annual “Snow Show” in late November at the Statewide Operations Center in Anne Arundel County where it announced it was ready for storms large and small.
State Highway Administrator Gregory Slater highlighted enhancements to the Statewide Transportation Operations Response Map, or STORM, and provided details on winter readiness including salt supplies, the winter response budget and available equipment in press release following the “snow show.”
“We’ve made some great enhancements that provide our crews and customers the information they need to make smart decisions during winter weather, such as online information on equipment location and weather conditions,” Slater said in the release. “We have the tools and the people to respond to any weather event, large or small.”
The state highway department is fully stocked with supplies and is continuing to advance technology to monitor roadway conditions and deploy resources, according to the release.
By the end of the season, MDOT SHA will have deployed 153 Mobile Advanced Road Weather Information Sensors. These devices, located on maintenance vehicles, provide real-time, critical pavement and weather data that enables storm managers to make strategic decisions.
The web-based STORM plow tracker application keeps citizens informed about real-time snow removal efforts.
STORM 2.0 integrates live traffic camera feeds and weather information and delivers an overall improved customer interface, according to the State Highway Administration.
Other highlights include:
• The budget for snow season is $71 million.
• 93 facilities across Maryland have 387,000 tons of rock salt at the ready.
• 77 sites have 1.6 million gallons of salt brine.
• The equipment fleet and personnel force is up to 2,700 (including contractors).
MDOT SHA crews plan to keep roads passable during snowstorms to maintain access to critical services, such as hospitals.
For current, real-time travel information, visit md511.maryland.gov. Travelers can also log onto www.roads.maryland.gov. To see what agency is responsible for what road, click on “Know Your Roads.” Follow MDOT SHA on social media via Twitter @MDSHA and on Facebook. The social media platforms are staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and during major emergencies and storms.