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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - During the unrelenting winter of 2013-2014 the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has been "in a constant state of readiness," according to spokesperson Kevin Gutknecht.

On Thursday, that readiness will be tested yet again as a blizzard threatens to dump five to eight inches of snow in the metro.

"Crews have their instructions. Our focus is on the evening commute. It is going to be a challenge for everybody, so we want to make sure drivers take every possible precaution when they head back home from work," said Gutknecht.

At the MnDOT station in Golden Valley trucks were being filled with salt, which would later be dispersed on interstates and highways across the west metro.

According to an employee at the Golden Valley office all available salt trucks and plows will be dispatched on Thursday, in preparation for the storm.

MnDOT maintains 5,500 lane miles in the Twin Cities metro area.

Hennepin County has also heeded the winter storm warning. Highway maintenance employee Ben Sanderson, who operates a salt truck, offered drivers some simple but important advice. "When you see us on the roads, keep your distance, slow down. We need to do our jobs and keep the roads safe."

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