[11/17/16] Thanksgiving Travel: Preparation Is Key

Posted in Transportation

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All of the cross state highway passes have received snow over the past few days-

And, more winter weather is on the way. With the big holiday week coming up, Washington State Department of Transportation is urging all drivers to prepare themselves, and their vehicles for winter weather driving.

You can check the Department of Transportation’s winter weather web page at www.wsdot.wa.gov.

You can also check mountain pass conditions 24-hours a day on that same website.

If you are curious about what the Department of Transportation is spraying on the roadways to help keep them clear- here’s what you should know: DOT transitioned from a sand to a chemical program in the 1990’s. Sand is still used, but now, primarily as a traction aid on slick spots and when temps are too cold for salt or anti icers to work.

Most state and federal agencies don’t like sand. It creates clouds of particulates when the roadway is dry, affecting air quality.

DOT’s snow and ice program is proactive rather than reactive- meaning they strive to prevent the formation of ice and compact snow on roadways through application of anti-icers prior to storm events, as opposed to dealing with compact snow and ice on highways with a layer of sand on top.

Bare and wet pavement as soon as possible after storm events is Washington State Department of Transportation’s goal. Sand alone cannot provide that outcome.

DOT admits chlorides (salt and liquid deicers) are corrosive to vehicles, which is why they encourage drivers to wash their vehicles after they have driven on treated roads, when the temperatures go above freezing.

There is much more information available online at www.wsdot.wa.gov.