Bring it on Mother Nature!

SDOT is Poised and Ready to Respond to Snow and Ice

SDOT's dispatch center monitors weather and road conditions as well as street clearing progress.

The weather gurus are warning of a snowy winter ahead, but SDOT is ahead of the curve and ready to keep roads open, buses moving and critical emergency services accessible. Last year we had a mild winter, so SDOT has had two years to fine tune its Snow and Ice Response Plan since the last big arctic blast in 2008.    Today we unveiled our new strategy for winter storms and our improved coordination with other agencies.  As SDOT Director Peter Hahn says: “Our plan is to stay ahead of storms by pretreating streets and keeping key roadways open for Metro’s buses before and after the snow falls.”

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Per best management practices – we’ll use salt brine pretreatment before snow falls to reduce snow’s ability to stick to streets; use salt during storms to melt snow more quickly; and there’ll be limited use of sand to help vehicles maintain traction.
  • We have 30 plows and four anti-icing/de-icing trucks available, have stockpiled 2,200 tons of salt and 46,000 gallons of salt brine, and have agreements with local companies and regional agencies for additional resources.
  • We have made significant improvements to our facilities and equipment to include GPS technology, vehicle mounted temperature sensors and an increased ability to predict incoming weather.
  • We have increased our emphasis on clearing city-managed pedestrian pathways and landings.
  • We will closely coordinate with other agencies – SDOT, Metro and the Seattle Police Department will provide a liaison in each other’s control/operations rooms when conditions warrant enabling quick and clear coordination.
  • We have improved our organizational structure and training for our winter storm response.
  • We have updated our  winter response plan website with road closure information and many more details which you can view: http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/winterweather.htm