City of Wichita, state DOT crews preparing for winter storm

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WICHITA, Kan. — City and state road crews await the arrival of a winter storm after working throughout the week to prepare roads.

City of Wichita leaders say 50 trucks will be mobilized and 100 workers will be on rotating 12-hour shifts through the duration of the storm.

City crews pretreated roads beginning Tuesday using a liquid brine.

"We've been spending the past several days pretreating snow emergency routes throughout the city so that we are ready as the precipitation comes," said Joe Pajor of the city's Department of Public Works and Utilities. "That brine solution, even though it disappears, in terms of being invisible, can be effective up to five days ahead of the storm."

Additional treatment will be applied throughout the weekend as warranted.

Kansas Department of Transportation workers also were actively using brine solution. Those crews aggressively prepared the state's highways.

"There's enough salt down from our salt brine that I think we are in good shape right now," KDOT spokesman Tom Hein said.

In the Wichita area, they began the process Thursday morning. Their focus was bridges, ramps, and intersections.

After all the preparation work, many DOT crews were sent home early Friday in anticipation of the 12-hour shifts they will be working beginning late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

"We have KDOT operations in every county so we can kind of watch the storm come in across the state so we know when to call out Wichita crews," Hein said.

In others words, Hein says, they'll be ready for whatever the storms brings.

"As soon as that storm comes in with any heft at all, our crews will be out and we'll fight it until it's over," Hein said.

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Transportation leaders remind drivers to proceed with caution and to follow these tips:

-Plan extra time to reach your destination
-Keep your vehicle in proper working order
-Slow down in slick conditions, allow for extra stopping distances
-Clear windows and windshield of ice, snow and other obstructions
-Stay away from safety equipment on the roads.

For more information on the winter weather coming our way, click here for the latest from the KAKE First Alert forecasters.

Keep up to date with our Interactive Radar and LIVE weather coverage. You can also download the new KAKE News app.

Upload weather pictures by clicking here.

For a list of closings and delays, click here. If you have a closing or delay to report, email us details and the password to news@kake.com.

Click here for road conditions in Wichita and here for conditions across the state.


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