The Weather Beat
WA Transportation, State Patrol work on snow plans
What do you get when you pair a Washington state Transportation Department snowplow and a State Patrol car? The agencies hope the answer is a better way to keep traffic moving during the next Puget Sound area snowfall.
On Wednesday, the two agencies announced plans for two new joint response teams, each consisting of a snowplow and a patrol car, to work snowy collisions involving buses or big commercial trucks. The teams will work in the King County area. If the plan is successful, it may be expanded to other areas.
The agencies note that during last week's snow and ice, some of the most vexing collisions involved big rigs and buses on Interstate 5 south of Seattle. Those accidents blocked southbound lanes and stalled traffic for hours.
The Transportation Department also plans to convert existing pickup trucks into mini-sanders that can move more easily between stopped vehicles.