WA, OR highway crews prepare for weekend icy and snowy roads

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) – Highway crews in Southwest Washington and the Portland metro area are preparing for a stretch of winter weather over the next few days expected to cause icy and snowy roads.

In a press conference Friday afternoon, the Washington Department of Transportation said their crews covering the Clark County area had stocked up with about 750 tons of salt and 30,000 gallons of liquid de-icer in anticipation of the weekend storm. 

The agency said they are planning to deploy 9 trucks on major roadways, including Interstate 5, during the event.

Maintenance lead Mike Brace said his team was evaluating pre-treatments, but hadn’t made a final decision as of 10 a.m. this morning because forecasters believe rain may arrive before snow in the area, washing away any liquid pre-treatment put down.

Brace also urged drivers to give WSDOT crews plenty of space to work during bad conditions

“We’d like the public to know to stay behind and stay back,” Brace said. “Don’t try and pass our trucks out there. It’s bad. They’re going to lose control in front of us, our trucks have to stop severely quick – and they can’t. These large trucks are hard to stop with these big plows on them.”

Meanwhile, across the river in the Portland metro area, ODOT and PBOT are also preparing for winter conditions and hazardous roads.

In a news release Friday morning, ODOT said trucks with plows, sand, de-icer and salt would be used for the storm. Crews have also been scheduled to work 12-hour shifts.

Agencies also recommended that drivers who go out after salt has been spread on the roadways should get their cars washed as soon as possible following the storm to prevent possible corrosion.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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