PennDOT prepares the roads as Lehigh Valley braces for snow this weekend

ByLeland Pinder WPVI logo
Saturday, January 6, 2024
Lehigh Valley residents prepare for weekend snow
Lehigh Valley residents prepare for weekend snow

SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews in the Lehigh Valley are preparing for snow this weekend.

Sean Brown, spokesperson for PennDOT's District 5 office, says up to 200 brine and salt trucks are available across the region and crews have already begun working 12-hour shifts.

"We're first pre-treating the roadways with the salt-brine solution. It helps the melting process," Brown said.

Getting the salt-brine solution on the roads before the event helps in getting things back to normal more quickly once it's over.

The District 5 PennDOT coverage area includes Berks, Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe, Carbon, and Schuylkill counties.

"Our main focus is going to be our interstates and expressways, we've got to keep those open. It's going to be good though that this is going to be on the weekend so there won't be a lot of commuters out there," Brown said.

Paul's Ace Hardware Owner Bob Danenhower said the first snowstorm of the year is always a busy time. He says he sold two snowblowers Friday and others brought snowblowers in for maintenance. Other customers were there for items like shovels, salt and heating coals.

"I only got 12 bags just to hold us over for the weekend," said William Porteous of Mertztown.

Porteous said he would also be grocery shopping Friday, then planning to hunker down indoors over the weekend. PennDOT is encouraging people to stay off the roads, especially secondary roadways.

"Avoid travel at all if possible, but if you do have to go out there, make sure your vehicle is prepped and ready to go with emergency care; a shovel, make sure your car is full of gas, always remember to slow down when you get out there," Brown said.