HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With only 71 days until the official start of winter, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and turnpike officials say they are prepared, but there are still positions to fill.
“We’ve been preparing for winter since the end of last winter,” said Mike Keiser, acting deputy secretary for PennDOT.
PennDOT oversees approximately 96,000 miles of roadway, which is more roadway than all of the New England states combined, throughout the Commonwealth.
“We are going to be ready to deploy about 4,700 on-the-road workers to brave the winter and keep or roads passible,” Keiser added.
Pennsylvania already has over 1.2 billion pounds of salt stockpiled for the winter months.
“Keeping our roads safe as possible in the winter is a team effort,” said Keiser.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is also ready for the snow.
“We’ll be prepared with over 400 operators across our turnpike system. They are prepped, trained, and ready to handle whatever mother nature throws at us,” said Craig Shuey of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
Although both PennDOT and the turnpike commission say they are ready for the winter storms, both agencies still have jobs to fill.
Keiser with PennDOT said, “We have several hundred [jobs] statewide right now.”
But what if there is a large driver shortage when a storm hits?
“We are going to have to skip a cycle or so on those back roads to make sure we keep our main roads clear and passable,” Keiser said.
Keiser stated that a combination of things, like drivers needing a CDL and competitive pay, has led to the influx of open positions.