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Cold weather has UDOT, other businesses gearing up for winter



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SALT LAKE CITY — The shot of winter weather throughout northern Utah has both businesses and state agencies in a frenzy as they prepare for snow and the first hard freeze of the season.

At Wasatch Drive and 38th South, a small mountain of road salt is being stashed by the Utah Department of Transportation. On their trucks, plow drivers check the bolts and fine tune the blades. No doubt, UDOT crews are ready for winter.

"We start putting on the plows, making sure all the hoses — hydraulic hoses — everything is ready to go," said Jake Brown, UDOT roadway operations manager.

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This week's shot of cold air and snow is the unofficial start of the winter season for these crews charged to work in it.

"It's a lot of stress to make sure the roads are safe for the traveling public," Brown said. "We really take pride in what we do."

The plows are on standby and road salt has been delivered. Now all that remains is the anticipation for what Mother Nature has in store for Utah, and some sage advice.

"Slow down," Brown cautions drivers. "Take it slow and let the plows do their job."

And there's no rest for the weary at Motor Sports Land on State Street in Salt Lake City. While you may know about covering your plants and taking care of your home when cold weather hits, what about your home on wheels?

"We've had our hands full of antifreeze and lots of work around here," said Greg Jones.

Utah is known for its camping, and Jones says there's a 3-week wait to winterize your RV.

"Different lines can freeze or crack. You have your ball valve on the back of your toilet, which is a real common thing: if you don't get antifreeze or get air blown through it, that will break," Jones explained. "Anything that has water in it will freeze here."

He says his crews will work on more than 1,000 motor coaches in the next few weeks alone.

Andrew Wittenberg

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