ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - Despite the mild weather, snow plows were out in full force in Montgomery County Wednesday.
Crews were getting ahead of the winter season by including a mock run that covers nearly 5,000 miles of roadway.
And this year, they're also getting a big boost, thanks to a brand new facility in Rockville.
It all falls under the Smart Growth Initiative, supported by the county executive.
The new Emergency Maintenance and Transit Operations Center (EMTOC) will function as a major hub for buses, trucks and snow plows, and will house the largest salt barn east of the Mississippi.
"We've moved a few blocks away. Facilities that were literally sitting on top of metro," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.
By relocating from an industrial zone near the Shady Grove metro station, the vacated land will now offer space for an urban village.
"It will be mixed use of multi-family apartments, as well as townhouses with a small commercial area, a park and eventually a school," said David Dise, Director of the Department of General Services.
The transit-oriented community addresses the county's current and future needs.
"The census numbers are completely off the charts when it comes to the growth in Clarksburg, and Germantown, North Potomac, as well as the Gaithersburg area," said Councilmember Craig Rice.
And by moving forward, officials are building under eco-friendly standards.
"This facility (EMTOC) can handle over 30-percent more buses than the old facility had, but on a footprint that's half the footprint," said Dise.