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PennDOT Gears Up For Winter

By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The calendar says it's October, but the temperature feels more like November. It's just a reminder that winter isn't too far away -- something PennDOT has been thinking about and began preparing for months in advance.

PennDOT's Gene Blaum says the 36 salt sheds around the region are receiving deliveries with the aim of filling them up by the time the first snowfall hits the area.

"When the winter season is upon us," he says, "we will start off here in the five-county Philadelphia region with 108,000 tons of salt on the ground ready to be used as winter storms strike the region."

Blaum says it's a plan PennDOT has been following the past couple of winter seasons.

"This is not a change of plan because we just came off a very brutal winter season this past year," he says. "We always will start with over 100,000 tons of salt on the ground. And then, as we use the material during a storm or two storms, we will start re-ordering because we want to keep our stockpiles full."

Blaum says last year PennDOT set a record for salt usage for the area at nearly 174,000 tons.

He says storm planners have to budget for the worst. And it will cost more - about $6 a ton more -- for any salt delivered under a new state contract starting in December.

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