As the winter weather gets closer to the area, city of Tulsa crews are preparing to treat city streets.
Street crews will be on 12-hour shifts until this event is over, with the first crews coming in at midnight tonight. Because of rain on the roads earlier on Tuesday, and rush hour traffic, they will wait to put salt on the streets until after midnight.
Once 1 to 2 inches start accumulating on the roads, the city has 47 plows that will all be in service. The city also has 35 routes they treat, and will first focus on bridges, overpasses, and hills and move on to the main streets. Street Maintenance manager Tim McCorkell says they plan to use about 1,500 to 2,000 tons of salt and have more than enough on hand.
"A little shift in a couple of counties with the storm can mean maybe 4 more inches of snow so we're prepared and like this year we had a couple of smaller events which got some of our novice drivers out and got to get them acclimated to the situation. So it won't be like they're just going out on their first run. So we have them prepared and ready to go," said McCorkell.
In addition to city crews, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Turnpike Authority (OTA) are preparing for the bad weather Tuesday evening.
OTA says they pretreated the turnpikes on Monday. ODOT, on the other hand, says that highways in the Tulsa area have not been pretreated because the rain would just wash it away.
If you do have the be out on the roads in the morning, ODOT says to make sure you're giving yourself extra time to get into work. The salt and sand trucks are going to hit the highways starting at midnight. Kenna Mitchell with ODOT says they have 20,000 tons of the mixture on hand to use here in the TULSA area. They're urging drivers to give those salt and sand trucks room on the roads.
"They're going to be putting down the material that's going to be helping your drive be a little bit safer. So give them the room to put the materials down. And the other thing too is during the storm if you do have to travel you need to pay very close attention to the forecast," said Mitchell.
ODOT Encouraging Safety During Morning Drive Ahead Of Winter Weather