As we head into the final month of the year, temperatures are now routinely dropping below freezing at night, which means New Jersey transportation officials are monitoring conditions to make sure the highways and byways are kept clear of any snow and ice that may come our way.

According to DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro, the state is ready for any kind of severe weather that Mother Nature sends our way.

“We have approximately 228,000 tons of salt in storage, 715,000 gallons of liquid calcium and 415,000 gallons of brine solution," he said. "We have 68 salt storage facilities statewide, and they are full and ready to go."

Schapiro pointed out the DOT has a fleet of winter-ready vehicles ready to spring into action.

“The DOT itself has approximately 540 trucks and they’re use for both spreading salt and for plowing, and we have an additional 2,200 plows and spreaders that are contractors that are available if needed.”

He explained depending on the severity of a storm, the DOT can bring in the contractor reinforcements to supplement road clearing efforts.

In total, he said the DOT has about 2,800 snow plows, many of which are used by contractors.

Courtesy NJ DOT
Courtesy NJ DOT

Schapiro said the big trucks the DOT maintains are used for both salting and plowing.

“We do replace those on a fairly regular basis. It’s usually every 10 to 15 years or so, depending on the truck and what its needs are.”

He added the plows themselves may last for decades.

“But there is a blade that goes on the bottom of the plow, it’s about a 6-inch piece of steel that attaches to the bottom of the plow, and that’s designed to last just for a few storms.”

DOT is testing blades that are designed to last up to four seasons rather than just three or four storms.

So how bad is the upcoming winter supposed to be in New Jersey?

He said, of course, no one is sure, but “we do have a weather forecasting service that we use, and they are forecasting an average winter here in New Jersey.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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