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Thruway Authority Stays a Step Ahead of the Storm

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - This winter, the New York State Thruway Authority had some new tricks up their sleeve to help them deal with snow.

"We're using liquid salt brine that we put down in combination with regular hard salt," said Doug Tokarczyk of the Thruway Authority. "That helps make the salt work faster. Another thing that we've been doing is moving resources from other parts of the state."

Moving resources was a big help on Wednesday as Western New York's second winter blizzard moved down the Thruway. "Both Buffalo and the Syracuse area, because they were going to get hit the worst with the blizzard weather, got equipment from Albany and from down state. We got six trucks (in Buffalo), and they were able to help us out here, and as the storm started to wind down we were actually able to send those trucks to Syracuse to help them out right after we got through with our rush hour yesterday."

Tokarczyk said that advanced warning of the storm let them stay ahead of the weather, and the fact that many schools and businesses shut down helped to alleviate congestion on the thruway, allowing the plows to do their jobs. He added that the Thruway Authority is becoming more accustomed to handling bigger storms after having two milder seasons.

"All through Western New York in the Last two winters I think we were lulled in to a sense of security and having milder weather. But this year we're over 100 inches of snow in our area and it's one of the bigger winters we've had to face in quite a while."

So now that it seems we've seen the last big winter storm of the season, is Tokarczyk breathing a sigh of relief?

"I don't know about celebrations," Tokarczyk said. "April 15th is when we change seasons officially. All our workers by that time are happy to get out of the plow trucks and get back on to the road doing pavement work and mowing and litter pickup out in the sunshine."

After two blizzards in three months, maybe all anyone wants is to pickup litter in the sunshine.

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Locations : BuffaloNew YorkSyracuseWestern New York
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