Website in January to let Pittsburgh residents track treated streets
For the first time this winter, Pittsburgh residents can track plows and salt trucks online treating ice- and snow-covered streets, Mayor Bill Peduto said Tuesday.
Peduto, who canceled a three-day, pothole-filling blitz this week because of cold weather, said a new global-positioning tracking system is operational; however, it must be tested during snowfalls to eliminate glitches.
“Right now, we have the capability of being able to have a system in place for 2015, which means for January,” Peduto said.
Residents will be able to log onto the city website and find a link to the tracking page. They can be aware of how many trucks are on the road during a storm, their locations and what streets have been treated.
The city has 169 trucks equipped with GPS units, said Katie O’Malley, a Peduto spokeswoman. Pittsburgh pays a monthly monitoring fee of $22.95 per truck.
“We’ve been using GPS on the trucks for years,” Department of Public Works Director Mike Gable said. “We’re just making use of the technology for the public to make use of it on the website.”
The site will show how many trucks are operating out of six public works street divisions and where they are in real time.
“The idea is that you’ll be able to go to the city’s website, and be able to go to a page, and that page then will show you a live map of where the salt trucks are,” Peduto said.
Gable said abnormally early-winter weather thwarted plans to fill potholes Monday through Wednesday in a final, year-end effort to improve city streets.
The temperature dipped to 12 degrees on Tuesday. Snow and high winds blew through the region on Monday. The city rescheduled the pothold blitz for Nov. 24-26 to ensure that patches last longer.
Pittsburgh officials ask residents to submit pothole sites to the city’s 311 Response Center. Since officials announced the blitz last week, they have received 191 submissions.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.