PennDOT anti-icing some area roads in advance of overnight storm

Motorists in north central counties are advised that PennDOT is pre-treating some of the region's major routes in advance of potential winter storms.

Anti-icing, as it is called, involves wetting the highway with a solution of salt brine before a storm's arrival. The solution lowers the freezing point of water and slows or prevents ice from forming a bond with the pavement during the early stages of a storm.

The anti-icing trucks may be seen along the area's interstate highways and other major routes. The salt brine is spread from sprayers attached to the brine tank on PennDOT trucks.

PennDOT reminds motorists to slow down and drive according to the conditions they encounter when winter storms hit.

PennDOT also reminds motorists they can log on to 511pa.com or call 511 from any phone to check interstate traffic conditions before heading out.

PennDOT reminds homeowners to prepare mailboxes for winter

PennDOT reminds residents living along rural state and local roads that now is the time to prepare mailboxes for the winter months. Snow thrown from plows can easily damage mailboxes that are not prepared.

Mailboxes are normally placed within the state's legal right-of-way; however, mailbox damage is the responsibility of the property owner.

If a mailbox is placed as far from the edge of the road as the letter carrier can reach from a vehicle and the mailbox is placed on a sturdy support, it should be able to withstand the force of snow thrown from a plow.

PennDOT offers these tips to help reduce the risk of mailbox damage:

- Place a 6- to 8-inch piece of reflective tape on the mailbox to help snow plow operators see it at night.

- Remove snow from around the mailbox, but never throw it back onto the road.

- If the mailbox is located within the legal right-of-way and damage was experienced in the past, homeowners may want to consider repositioning the mailbox before winter.

Homeowners who have followed these tips in the past and have still experienced mailbox damage may wish to consider installing a cantilevered mailbox support that will swing a mailbox out of harm's way. Visit www.dot.state.pa.us for a copy of plans for a cantilever mailbox support.

Contact your local post office for more information about how to correctly position a mailbox.

PennDOT reminds motorists they can log on to 511pa.com or call 511 from any phone to check interstate traffic conditions before heading out.