INDOT, city tackle roads as winter weather rolls in

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — It is looking like a winter wonderland outside but that means questionable conditions on the roads.

Both the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) and the City of Fort Wayne have miles of streets to cover every time winter weather rolls through. They do a lot of the same kind of prep work but when it comes to the plows on the ground while it is snowing, they have very different approaches.

The city started prepping roads on Tuesday for Wednesday’s snow. They put down brine and salt to try and minimize snow impact on the smaller and side streets that they cannot get to until the snow stops.

“As long as there’s rain, sleet, or snow we will stay on the primary streets. Those are the major arterials that connect the entire city together,” said Frank Suarez, Public Information Officer for the city. “It’s important for us to focus on those because we have emergency vehicles that need to be able to access and get to these neighborhoods.”

INDOT takes care of the highways in the area, which does include some major Fort Wayne streets like Coliseum, Lima, and Clinton and Lafayette. Typically, INDOT assigns one truck on each of their routes. A route can take around an hour for a plow driver to run, so early this morning they took steps to prepare the stretches that ice over first.

“Earlier today about 5 a.m. we had our brine truck out and that is applying a salt-brine mixture to the roadway and that was dedicated to I-69 and I-469, bridges, overpasses, underpasses, and ramps because those slick over first,” said Nichole Hacha-Thomas, Media Relations Director for the Indiana Department of Transportation Northeast.

Both INDOT and the city want to remind drivers to give yourself extra time to get to your destination and to slow down. Plows cannot be everywhere at once so travel on some roads are likely to get dicey. It is also important to be mindful of the plows that are on the road. They tend to go slower, and are not emergency vehicles so they are required to stop at all the same lights and stop signs as everyone else.

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