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CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Division of Highways is thinking ahead to keep drivers safe in snow and ice this winter.

Drivers in the division’s District 1 just finished “dry runs” for winter snowplow routes.

“We want to make sure that our trucks are well-maintained, greased and that all the equipment is working properly,” said District 1 Maintenance Engineer Kathy Rushworth.

Running snowplow routes early allows drivers to familiarize themselves with their routes and get used to driving the snowplows.

District 1 has 215 drivers assigned to drive plows in the snow and ice. They’re the same men and women responsible for cutting grass, trimming trees, cutting ditches and doing other maintenance work during spring, summer and fall.

The district has plows dedicated to Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Mason and Putnam counties. Other snowplows are responsible for clearing snow and ice on U.S. 35 and interstates 64, 77 and 79.

In District 2, which consists of Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo and Wayne counties, Cabell has 17 plows, Lincoln has 13, Logan has 13, Mingo has 13, Wayne has 16 and Interstate 64 and U.S. 119 Expressway combined have 16 dedicated for those areas.

There are 240 total CDL drivers in District 2, who have conducted their dry runs, ordered deicing chemicals — including salt and liquid calcium — serviced their brine equipment and reviewed their routes, transportation officials said.

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