Eastern Region - Winter Maintenance

Maintenance Crews Cover Seven Counties

In Northeastern Washington, state highway snow removal is handled by maintenance crews under the jurisdiction of D.O.T./Eastern Region. The region encompasses seven counties: Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Spokane, Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Whitman. To keep the roads clear and safe for travel, the WSDOT uses over 100 pieces of equipment ranging from regular plow trucks to specialized equipment such as a wing plow, extendable plows and the Tow Plow. There are a total 19 maintenance sheds in strategic locations around the seven counties that house equipment for snow and ice removal. Primary maintenance sheds are located in Spokane, Davenport, Colville and Colfax.

Greater Efficiency

Eastern Region is home to Washington State’s only Tow Plows. In total Eastern Region will have three Tow Plows. The Tow Plow is designed to be towed and extended out at an angle behind a plow truck to clear a secondary lane. The 12ft plow blade on the front of the truck combined with a 26ft moldboard on the Tow Plow allows one operator to clear two lanes of travel at the same time. This increases snow and ice removal efficiency by allowing one operator to clear two lanes of travel. The Tow Plow is also equipped with a granular spreader and liquid tanks to disperse deicing materials. Currently, two are in use at our Geiger and Wandermere maintenance facilities, while the third is being delivered Spring 2020. Being able to quickly and efficiently clear two lanes of travel at once gives other plow operators to focus on lower priority routes sooner.

Priority Snow & Ice Removal

Average daily traffic counts determine the priority for snow and ice removal on the state highway system. Urban freeways and primary arterials receive the greatest emphasis in this program followed by rural facilities. Learn more about priority snow and ice removal.

Air Quality

In the Spokane area, air quality continues to be an important issue and dust from traction sand on the roadway is a major concern. To control that dust, traction sand is now removed from the roadway during dry periods, especially along Interstate 90. These efforts are helping the community avoid violations of the PM10 regulations that are now in effect in Spokane County.

Winter Travel Information

Motorists who are planning winter travel should be aware of changing weather and road conditions and carry emergency equipment such as tire chains, warm blankets, extra clothes, flashlight, first aid kit, etc. Information on all mountain passes in Washington State is available from the Department of Transportation by calling the toll-free number (800) 695-7623