The strange October snowstorm was just a “dress rehearsal” for what the state could expect this season, according MassDOT Secretary Rich Davey.
But winter woes will hopefully be eased with the department’s purchase of an arsenal of snow removal equipment that Davey likes to call “monster plows.”
“We are very confident we will have a good season,” he said. “We have new techniques to drive down costs and increase safety.”
The giant “Tow Plows” clear two and a half lanes at a time coupled with conventional front-end loaders.
The 26-foot-long attachments mount on the back of the maintenance trucks and are set at a 30-degree angle to more efficiently keep roads safe.
MassDOT had one of the massive plows last year, and purchased four more this season at $100,000 each.
The fleet upgrades, matched with reconfigured routes, new salt contracts and saved fuel costs, will help MassDOT save millions, Davey said.
They will also require fewer contracted plow drivers because the new mega-plows cover more ground.
Still, Davey encouraged commuters to take the T to get around this winter.
“We don’t want people on the road at all during severe storms,” he said.
Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.