RIDOT ready for messy morning commute

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation spent Tuesday preparing for a messy wintry mix forecast for the Wednesday morning commute.

Crews have many tools at their disposal.

"We use salt. We use a mix of sand and salt. And then we have some liquids that we use: magnesium chloride, calcium chloride and salt brine that we mix ourselves," said Joe Bucci of RIDOT.

The DOT has only so much storage capacity for all the salt and sand it will need for a winter season, so the department has to order as it goes.

So far this winter, including orders outstanding right now, the state has gone through about 100,000 tons of salt and 25,000 tons of sand. That's on track with what the state would typically use at this point in the season.

The challenge becomes to stay stocked in an active winter pattern.

"We try to stay three storms ahead. It doesn't always work out that why when we get back-to-back storms, it gets difficult to keep the supplies. We try to stay three storms ahead. We order the materials as we need it. So as supplies get depleted, we replace it as quickly as we can," Bucci said.