Trucks 'Plowed Up,' But Salt Suffices So Far In Pittsburgh’s First Major Snow

Jan 12, 2016

Primary routes such as E. Carson St. were treated with salt overnight, according to city spokeswoman Katie O'Malley.
Credit Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Works crews will continue to work 12-hour shifts for the duration of the current snowfall event, according to city spokesperson Katie O’Malley.

The Mayor’s office issued a Level 1 Snow Alert effective at 11 p.m. Monday. O’Malley said the alert will continue for 24 hours after snow stops falling. The Weather Channel reported that less than 1 inch is expected to fall during the day Tuesday, with 1 to 3 inches falling overnight Tuesday, into Wednesday morning. No snow is predicted during the day on Wednesday.  

O’Malley said as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, that all primary and emergency routes had been treated with salt. She said the city will have 50 vehicles out between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tuesday and 40 vehicles out from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

“Temperatures are rising today, which is good for us. Things will be melting, things will not be hardening,” O’Malley said. “Temperatures are expected to drop later today (and) as temperatures do drop, we’ll be treating the … streets with a calcium chloride mix to help encourage melting.”

O’Malley said all trucks are outfitted with plows, though the city has not had to use them yet. She said they may be necessary on secondary and tertiary routes, as snow continues to accumulate throughout the day Tuesday.

O’Malley said the Mayor’s office is pleased with the results of overnight efforts to treat roads with salt.

“Unfortunately the timing of the snowfall is not something we can control,” she said. “There was a burst of snowfall right at the time of morning rush, which is inconvenient. But overall, we feel great about the coverage today and we thank residents for their patience and just encourage … everybody out there to be safe and mindful of road conditions.”

O’Malley said residents can track snow treatment vehicles online and should contact 311 with any issues related to snow removal.

Updated at 4:15pm

Fred McMullen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, said there is no additional accumulation of snow expected overnight Tuesday and that snow showers will taper off around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

He did say, however, that wind chills are expected to dip below zero overnight and that roads could become slick, so people should exercise caution on their Wednesday morning commute.