NMDOT crews prepare for upcoming winter season in New Mexico

NMDOT crews (Photo: Marissa Lucero | KRQE)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico Department of Transportation crews are preparing to clear the roads and highways for the upcoming winter season.

Crews have been preparing their salt and sand spreaders, snow plows and graders.

“Our crews across the state are ready to respond to winter weather so we can keep the traveling public safe,” said NMDOT Secretary Tom Church in a news release. “If you must get behind the wheel during winter weather conditions please take the necessary precautions and give our crews plenty of room to do their job. We want everyone to make it home safely to their families this season.”

The districts are also monitoring weather reports and are ready to respond as soon as they are called out.

According to a release, NMDOT has a total of 96 graders, 161 loaders, 9 snow blow trucks and 417 dump trucks with plows and salt spreaders. The NMDOT also has about 49,000 tons of salt that is ready to help clear icy roads.

The NMDOT has issued the following safe winter driving tips:

  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Slow down and leave extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
  • Use brakes carefully and remember that it takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy, and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface such as wet, ice, and sand.
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Don’t crowd the snow plow. Please stay at least 50 feet behind the plow. Be patient and give the driver plenty of room to do the job.
  • Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses, and shaded areas since they are likely to freeze first and stay frozen the longest.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • Ensure that your vehicles are prepared for winter driving by:
    • Making sure your tires are properly inflated.
    • Never mixing radial tires with other tire types.