By Pat Caldwell
VALE – The Oregon Department of Transportation will deploy new equipment and use salt in an effort to beef up its ability to keep highways open during winter snowstorms.
The highway department’s new gear is a result of lessons learned in the wake of last winter’s epic snow storms. State workers, though, aren’t the only ones preparing for the worst while hoping for the best as winter nears.
Leaders in the county’s largest cities are also organizing for winter by harnessing lessons learned the hard way last January.
A series of large winter storms rolled over the area that month and forced road closures, damaged public and private buildings and impacted the local economy.
The historic storms proved ae shock.
“It caught everyone by surprise about how severe it was,” said Tom Strandberg, a regional spokesman for the Transportation Department.
The agency . . .