(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Bowser Administration kicked off the District’s 2017-2018 snow season with a snow dry run practice session and citywide exercise. During the event, City Administrator Rashad Young and leaders of the DC Snow Team highlighted the addition of new equipment that will expand the areas of the city that are pretreated, reducing the amount of time it takes to restore Washington, DC’s streets to safe travel by as much as 50 percent. Officials also announced the creation of a new snow operations unit, the “Non-Motorized Trails Section,” which will focus on clearing District bike lanes as well as ADA ramps at intersections, bridge deck sidewalks, and bus shelters.
“Today’s dry run ensures our snow team is staffed, trained, equipped, and ready to quickly coordinate services and restore streets, roadways, and sidewalks to passable conditions,” said Mayor Bowser. “The DC Snow Team is ready to keep DC safe and open no matter what comes our way this winter.”
This year’s snow and ice removal program includes:
- 834 DC Snow Team personnel
- 211 heavy plows
- 179 light plow pick ups
- 23 front-end loaders
- 33 bobcats and skidsteers
- 19 liquid dispensing trucks
- 10 new liquid dispensing club cars with plows and spreaders
- 31,309 tons of salt on hand with an additional 10,500 tons available immediately through purchase order
- 12,500 gallons of beet juice and 30,000 gallons of brine hot mix
The more than 800 members of the DC Snow Team participated in the dry run training event to prepare for snow management, proper handling of materials, and equipment maintenance and operation. Plow drivers navigated through their routes, checking for steel plates, potholes, and other obstacles that might be covered during a snow event. Other staff, including administrative, supervisory, logistics and IT employees, practiced their functions at their sites, including the salt domes.
“Our snow operations are continuously evaluated and are improved in numerous ways every year,” said Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Christopher Shorter. “Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Bowser, the District has been able to acquire new equipment that will allow us to speed up the amount of time it takes to clear our city’s streets and get everyone back to school and work.”
The Snow Dry Run follows a snow summit held by DPW and the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) on Thursday, which included a series breakout sessions to better engage employees in all aspects of snow removal including procurement, logistics, and operations. The DC Snow Team includes: DPW, DDOT, the Department of General Services (DGS), the Department of Human Services (DHS), Serve DC, and the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).
“DDOT has prepared all year for winter and is proud to collaborate with our agency partners to keep the District open and safe through winter weather,” said DDOT Acting Director Jeff Marootian. “Since last year, we’ve added 13 new snow trucks to our more than 150-vehicle fleet, reorganized our deployment structure, and prepared new in-house plow training.”
DGS, the agency responsible for removing snow from walkways surrounding government properties, called on residents to volunteer for the Resident Snow Team, a coalition of community members who help shovel snow for seniors and residents with disabilities.
In preparation for winter, residents are reminded that they should call the shelter hotline at (202) 399-7093 when they see a person who is experiencing homelessness and outside during extreme temperatures. For more information about DC’s snow program and preparing for winter weather, or to see where District Snow Team plows are out working during a storm, visit snow.dc.gov.