CHICAGO (CBS) — The worst of the snow associated with the weekend winter storm was coming Saturday night.

Snow Command at the Department of Streets and Sanitation deployed the 287 snow-fighting trucks Saturday evening as the snowy part of the winter storm set in.

Salt spreaders were set to continue to focus on keeping the city’s arterial routes and Lake Shore Drive safe and passable for drivers and buses until the snow stops. Afterward, they will move to residential streets as needed.

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported, the salt truck operators spent the day loading up at the salt yard at Grand Avenue and Rockwell Street in West Town – before taking to some 280 routes around the city.

There are 19 salt piles across the city, and 350,000 tons of road salt.

A front-end loader spent the day softening up the salt and opened the trucks.

The Streets and Sanitation crews need to keep safe 9,400 lane miles – the equivalent of the distance from Chicago all the way to Canberra, Australia.

Streets and Sanitation WeatherCommand said the snow will likely cause slippery road conditions through the night. Drivers are urged to take proper precautions.