DPW crews hitting the roads as Nor'easter moves into the region - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

DPW crews hitting the roads as Nor'easter moves into the region

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

The snowfall continues to fall in Springfield and across western Massachusetts and DPW crews continue their efforts to keep the roads clear and safe.

It's been a tough couple weeks for them, taking on the third Nor'easter in the month of March.

Fortunately, this has sort of become clock work for them as Mother Nature has been keeping New Englanders busy.

As the storm moves its way through the region, the plow trucks are ready go.

Crews typically get started the night before, pre-treating the roads for those early morning drivers with salt that has magnesium chloride mixed in - making it much more effective in colder weather.

Also last night, DPW workers were firing up the plows to make sure they're working properly. 

Other cities and towns are much the same, getting ahead of the nasty weather we're expecting, like in Ludlow and Westfield.

However, private contractors will be the ones clearing the streets of snow.

This morning, truck after truck lined up outside the salt shed to get their loaders filled and in total they expect around 800 tons of this stuff to be dumped onto the roads to help keep em safer for us.
Still, this whacky weather pattern we're in has been tough, said Springfield DPW Director Chris Cignoli.

He told Western Mass News that the frequency of these storms is the real problem right now and he'd have to go back a few years to find another string of systems that compares.

Cignoli says he expects this to be an all-day operation which will extend well into the evening hours and he's stressing to people that if you don't have to be on the roads, quite simply put: don't be.

"Obey the parking ban. That's our major thing, so that we can get out on the streets," Cignoli explained.

Once the snow begins to stick - that's the key word - plowing operations will begin.

Cignoli said that the focus will first be on the main roads that are more heavily traveled and then the attention will shift to the residential areas.

Out in Ware, it's a mix of contractors and DPW crews.  Overall, the town would have over two dozen workers ready to keep the roads safe.

Holyoke has a big weekend coming up with St. Patrick's Day celebrations.  The parade committee said that the DPW there is prepared to not just clear the roads, but also the sidewalks for spectators to get a good view of the action.

MassDOT is ready for our third nor'easter in as many weeks, too.  They have around 15,000 miles of roadway to cover statewide and according to the department, they've already pre-treated the highways ahead of the morning commute.

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