State roads are the lifeline for Nevada commutes, travel and commerce. They are also one of the state’s largest public infrastructure investments. From snow removal and accident traffic control to repaving and repainting, NDOT maintenance forces perform nearly 100 different types of road maintenance-related tasks. All of these tasks help ensure public safety and mobility. And through many of these tasks, NDOT protects and upkeeps state roads with expertise, dedication and a recognition of the invaluable public investment of each roadway.
NDOT concisely evaluates pavement condition to repair roadways before reaching the point where more costly, time-involved repairs are needed; saving Nevada taxpayers millions every year. The program also saves drivers the time of waiting in extensive construction delays caused by major rehabilitation. This rehabilitation is undertaken by NDOT maintenance forces and road contractors.
The Nevada Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal on state roads. Local city and county governments remove ice and snow from locally-controlled roads.
NDOT utilizes numerous technologies and undertakes many duties to keep state roads clear of ice and snow:
NDOT receives professional, meteorological weather forecasts detailing wind, rain, snow, ice and other factors on certain state roads, giving a detailed look at how impending winter weather will affect individual roads.
RWIS – Road Weather Information System
NDOT’s Road Weather Information System (RWIS) is a network of meteorological stations strategically located along certain state roadways. Specialized monitoring equipment embedded into the road makes detailed observations of air and pavement temperature on specific roadways, allowing NDOT to make informed snow removal decisions, from utilizing alternate de-icing chemicals and making optimal use of materials and staff to practicing anti-icing techniques developed through years of research.
NDOT utilizes a brine solution of salt and water, as well as other anti-icing agents and practices, to help reduce the formation and aid in removal of ice.
A combination of sand and salt is wetted with brine to create a wet, heavy sand that keeps roads ice free at lower temperatures and will not as easily bounce off roadway surfaces. Brine is often sprayed on wet road surfaces prior to snowfall to delay ice pack build up.
Computerized Salt/Sand Spreading
NDOT sand trucks calibrate the amount of salt/sand distributed to roads, allowing extreme precision and efficiency.
Driving Safely Near Snow Plows
∙ Use caution when following, passing or approaching snow removal equipment.
∙ Drive a safe distance behind snowplows. Plows often travel slower than other vehicles to remove snow, apply sand and liquid anti-icers and assist stranded vehicles.
∙ Before attempting to pass snow removal equipment, check direction of snow discharge to avoid snow and debris thrown from equipment. Remember that plows are wider than most vehicles and portions of the plow and blade may be obscured by blowing snow.
∙ Don’t crowd the plow. Only pass snow removal vehicles when a safe, legal passing area is available and adequately clear of snow and/or treated with salt and sand.
∙ Don’t travel beside a snowplow. They can shift sideways after hitting snow packs or drifts.
∙ When a plow approaches you, allow the plow room to operate by reducing speed and moving to the right side of the road if there is room to safely do so.
∙ Do not brake with unnecessary sudden movements when in front of a snowplow - plows cannot stop as quickly as an automobile.
∙ Don’t drive through white out conditions caused by swirling snow around a snowplow. Safely pull to the side or slow to allow visibility to improve.
∙ Remember that a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
Traffic Control/Scene Response
NDOT operators assist the Nevada Highway Patrol in traffic control and accident response, thus assisting motorists and easing winter traffic.
When high winds, drifting snow, low visibility, flooding and other dangerous conditions exist, the NHP and NDOT may temporarily hold traffic or close roads until crews can make the roadway safe.
Road restriction/closure information is available by dialing ‘511’ or logging onto www.nvroads.com.