Days before the snow starts falling, the state Department of Transportation is preparing to clean up.
“Trucks have been prepped, the salt’s in the barn, we’re good to go,” said DOT Region 6 Director Brian Kelly.
“In an early season storm like we’re facing this week, there’s no salt on the road. So we might go out and salt ahead of the storm. So that when the snow and ice starts falling, it doesn't turn into ice it stops it from binding with the roadway, and forming a hardpack."
Like it or not, that winter weather is just around the corner, with Thursday being the first significant snowfall of the season. And you’ll see big snow plows all over the roads.
“Fifty years ago ... there were still agencies putting out by hand, off the back of the truck, or they had no salt or sand at all,” said David Orr, the director of Cornell Local Roads Program.
Now, salt is coated with brine, making it sticky, and preventing it from bouncing off the roads. An extra plow attached to the back allows the clearing of a second lane "to make it, you know, as efficient as we can,” said Kelly.
Even the driver's seat looks different.
“[It's] an incredible amount of information the drivers are responsible for. Every wing, every piece of that truck, aside from putting it in gear and driving it down the road, they’ve got to be responsible for. There’s a lot of technological change inside the truck, too,” said Kelly.
A device on the side of the truck can measure the road temperature, aiding in salt distribution.