PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Ready or not, winter weather is coming.
While you’re pulling out your snow shovels and ice scrapers, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is putting its finishing touches on some last-minute preparations.
“Basically, we’re getting all the trucks ready. A lot of them are out for preventative maintenance,” RIDOT’s Joe Bucci said. “At the beginning of every winter, fully stocked, we have about 50,000 tons on the ground at all our stockpiles.”
Rhode Island has an additional 10,000 pounds of salt reserves, so the state has 60,000 tons of salt ready for this winter.
The Route 6 and I-295 stockpile in Johnston has plenty of salt, as does Providence’s “Champion Salt” – which can be seen from I-95.
At RIDOT’s storage facility in East Providence, no salt was on-site, however, they’re expecting some to arrive mid-week.
In addition to doing some preventative maintenance on the trucks, Bucci said they are expecting some reinforcements soon.
“We’ve got about 15 brand new 10-wheeler plow trucks, single-wing, double-wing plow trucks that should be coming in December or January, so they’ll be on the road helping us this winter as well,” Bucci said.
The Pinpoint Weather Team is currently tracking a storm arriving Thursday that may result in the first flurries of the season.
If the season’s first snowfall happens this week, Bucci said the state will be ready.
“We have to be,” Bucci said. “We don’t have a choice, so yes, we’re ready to go.”
RIDOT is also looking for private vendors to help out with plowing this winter. Anyone interested can call (401) 231-4501 or visit RIDOT’s website.