Portland crews already preparing for possibility of severe winte - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland crews already preparing for possibility of severe winter weather

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Like it or not, winter is coming – and the Portland Bureau of Transportation is making sure crews are ready. 

PBOT had their drivers navigate an obstacle course. It’s a chance for them to get used to operating their heavy equipment again before the winter weather arrives.

It's not easy to operate plows in tight locations, especially given the poor visibility from the driver's seat with some of the larger plows.

The practice sessions won't end with the obstacle course. Later this week, the drivers will be taking the plows out on city streets, even if they're dry.

“Over the summer, a lot of things may have changed on those roads that we need to be ready for such as installation of speed bumps, our new lane markings. When we go in and repave a road, sometimes the lane markings change, so they need get out and get familiar with the environment they're going to be driving in this winter,” said PBOT Director Leah Treat. 

PBOT said they learned a lot from last winter and will be making some changes to their strategy this year.

In addition to the main arterials, crews will be working with Portland Public Schools. They said they will add routes leading to school campuses to their priority list.

They also plan to conduct more trials using salt instead of chemical de-icers.

More details about the plan for the upcoming winter season are expected to be released at the end of the month at a news conference conducted by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

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