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Winter Readiness

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many crews does the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) have to use for snow fighting?
A: NJDOT has 66 Highway Operations Crews statewide that fight snow, each on stategically selected sections of the roadway.

Q. What types of material does the NJDOT use to perform winter maintenance?

NJDOT uses sodium chloride or better known as rock salt as the solid anti-icing material that is wetted with either liquid calcium chloride solution or a salt brine/salt brine blend to enhance the melting capability of the rock salt.

as a winter storm approaches, trucks are loaded with material at a maintenance facility photo
As a winter storm approaches,
trucks are loaded with material
at a maintenance facility.

Q. What is anti-icing?
A: Anti-icing is a proactive approach to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the road surface by using timely applications of a chemical freeze point suppressant.

Q. How many salt storage locations does NJDOT have?
A: NJDOT has 68 salt storage facilities statewide.

Q. How much salt capacity does NJDOT have?
A: NJDOT can store up to 228,000 tons.

Q. How much anti-icing liquid does NJDOT store?
A: NJDOT has statewide storage capacity for just over 1,000,000 gallons of anti-icing liquids.

Q. Does NJDOT pre-treat the roads?
A: Yes. NJDOT has the capability to pre-treat thousands of lane miles. Those lane miles are strategically selected statewide and are treated with salt brine or a salt brine blend prior to the start of any winter precipitation. This application could remain on the road surface up to several days depending on the amount of traffic on that roadway.

Q. Does NJDOT use their winter maintenance trucks for every winter storm?
A: Yes. The NJDOT uses all or a portion of their fleet of over 500 trucks for every activiation depending on where the precipitation is affecting the roadways.

Q. Does NJDOT use contractors to spread anti-icing material and plow snow?
A: Yes. NJDOT has trucks contracted to plow snow and also to spread anti-icing material and are utilized as needed.

Q. Does NJDOT use spreading contractors every time?
NJDOT utilizes contractors to help clear the roads during a winter storm photo
NJDOT utilizes contractors to help clear the roads during a winter storm.
A: No. There are areas in the state that NJDOT can cover with its own resources, however most sizeable events require utilizing spreading contractors.

Q. Does NJDOT use plowing contractors every time?
A: No. Plowing contractors are called out as needed in the areas that require snow plowing.

Q. How come I don't always see a truck taking care of the road during a winter storm?
A: During a spreading operation, the single truck covers many miles and cycles back in approximately two to three hours or less, depending on your location on the roadway, it may be two to three hours before you see a truck in that section.

Q. What should I do to find out more information before I travel?
A: NJDOT offers a free service, 511NJ, a phone and web service, which consolidates traffic and transportation information into a one-stop resource for commuters and motorists. 511NJ provides up-to-the-minute traffic conditions and it is available seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  November 17, 2015