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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: SDOT to Rehearse its New Snow Plan Today

11/9/2009  1:15:00 PM
Sue Romero  (206) 684-8548

SDOT to Rehearse its New Snow Plan Today
Look for plows on your neighborhood’s main streets

SEATTLE—Today the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) will conduct a dress rehearsal of its aggressive new snow-fighting plan by deploying its snow response fleet on city streets. Starting this afternoon, motorists will see SDOT tanker trucks and snow plows conducting a citywide dry run of the new winter weather strategy.  

“Our best practices based plan will keep major streets drivable this winter during snow and ice storms,” said Grace Crunican, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation. “This test run is another step in ensuring that Seattle is well prepared to keep arterial roads open for public transit, emergency vehicles, and others who must drive during bad weather.”

Starting at approximately 3:00 p.m. today, four tanker trucks will travel major arterial streets throughout the city, pre-treating the pavement with what would be a salt brine mixture (today it will be water) to keep snow and ice from accumulating. The plan calls for pre-treating all the city’s level one and two streets when adverse weather is forecast, maintaining bare and wet pavement for all travel lanes on level one streets and one lane in each direction for level two streets. Drivers are advised to stay 100 feet back from these trucks to avoid getting their vehicles sprayed with what would be salt brine during a real operation.

Beginning at approximately 4:00 a.m., more than 20 trucks equipped with snow plows will roll out of SDOT yards to follow the prescribed sequence and turns for each snow route, confirming that each route is well defined and the time allotted is appropriate.   

During the exercise, managers will use the new GPS tracking system to follow the vehicles’ progress, operate traffic cameras to “monitor storm conditions,” and use temperature and humidity devices to help determine what materials and usage rates are needed during an actual storm. Additional information about the new snow and ice response plan can be found online at

The Seattle Department of Transportation builds, maintains and operates Seattle's $12 billion transportation infrastructure. To further Mayor Nickels’ goal to get Seattle moving, the department manages short- and long-term investments in streets, bridges, pavement and trees, that better connect the city with the region.

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Seattle Department of Transportation

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