California Department of Transportation

California Department of Transportation

Headquarters - Public Affairs Office

Tamie McGowen
(916) 657-5060

November 29, 2007


Sacramento – Before heavy rains and snow fall on the Golden State from cloudy winter skies, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Director Will Kempton announced today that “Caltrans is ready to meet the challenge of keeping the state’s vital transportation corridors open to the traveling public and trucking industry during the 2007-08 winter storm season.”

Caltrans is ready to use its work force of 5,600 (and more than1000 pieces of equipment) where they are needed most – snow removal in the mountains, flooding in the valleys or slide/debris removal on the coast.

Recent expansion of Caltrans’ telephone service for highway conditions will allow callers to get chain control and road closure information for specific areas of travel. A new computerized voice response system makes it easy, and the information is now available via cell phone nationwide.

In October, Caltrans employees went the extra mile to keep roads open during the devastating Southern California wildfires. Caltrans is now proactively taking steps to control erosion, such as enhancing drainage where the watershed above the highways has been burned and surveying slopes that may need hydro-seeding, to prevent mudslides when winter rains arrive.

Federal climatologists say California can expect a somewhat wet winter in the north and dry conditions in the south during the 2007-08 storm season.

Motorists can get the latest information on conditions and chain controls by calling Caltrans statewide toll-free number 1-800-427-ROAD (7623) or by logging on to Caltrans’ Web site at

Note to media: To arrange a ride-a-long with Caltrans winter road crew, contact the Office of Public Affairs in your local Caltrans district.