New tool will allow public to stay updated with PennDOT

It snowed six inches last night.

You’ve got somewhere to go this morning.

Your road doesn’t look like it’s been plowed in a while

But what about all the other roads?

PennDOT will be rolling out a new tool this winter to help provide those answers.

Governor Tom Wolf announced that a new online tool is available to inform the public of PennDOT operations this winter. “Public safety is our principal mission, which drives our team’s preparation for the winter season,” Governor Wolf said. “Not only are PennDOT’s staff, equipment and materials ready to go, but we also have yet another tool for the public to make winter travel decisions.”

From a PennDOT statement: “New this winter, the public can view a color-coded map of when each of the nearly 40,000 miles of state-maintained roadway was last plowed by visiting the www.511PA.com plow trucks section. The information is the latest enhancement made possible by PennDOT’s Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which uses units in each of the more than 2,200 department-owned and rented plow trucks to send a cellular signal showing truck locations.”

PennDOT said that the AVL program was designed to “maximize efficiency, modernize state government operations, and provide the highest quality services.”

In discussing PennDOT’s readiness for the season ahead, PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards said that the department has compiled its information about winter services and winter-driving resources for motorists at www.penndot.gov/winter.

The 40,000 miles for which PennDOT is responsible translates into 96,000 snow-lane miles — enough miles to circle the globe nearly four times. A snow-lane is calculated as the miles of road multiplied by the number of lanes, which means a one-mile section of four-lane roadway would equal four snow-lane miles.

“Carrying out our winter mission is a massive undertaking for our team, and it’s critical that the public do their part to keep our roads as safe as possible,” Richards said. “Drivers should keep safety top of mind in their travel decisions, and give our operators and other motorists plenty of room during inclement weather.”

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