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Technology To Allow Residents To Monitor City Plow Trucks

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - People who live in Pittsburgh will soon have a new way to find out if their street has been plowed or salted.

The city will soon use the plow trucks' GPS devices to help residents keep track of where the trucks are and what streets they've treated.

Residents will be able to track the trucks online through the city's website. The tracker will also show how many trucks are out during a storm.

"You're going to be able to click on a particular street or route and see when a particular truck was there and at what time," said Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable.

Citizens will be able to see if there is a truck approaching their area, but at least initially you won't be able to narrow it down much further.

"Well, I don't know if you're going to know when it's going to be at your house, when you can see it coming down the route," said Gable. "It's going to be a window; we don't know what that is going to be right now. I think a six-hour window."

But the website will provide proof of when a street has been serviced.

"We've always used the word in the past, 'cleared,'" said Gable. "We don't have the knowledge of how soon a street will be blacktopped or brick, but we are going to promise we are going to get those streets treatedn and this website will help us document when those streets have bene treated."

Officials say the GPS systems are operational, but that they still have to be tested during a snow storm to work out any glitches.

They hope to have the system up and running by January of 2015.

The Tribune-Review reports that the city currently has 169 trucks with GPS units. There is a monitoring fee per truck, but representatives from the Department of Public Works say the city has been using the technology for years.

The new twist is that citizens will now be allowed to pull up the real-time maps online and check for themselves to see if the plow truck is on the way.

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