For Immediate Release:
February 8, 2013
County prepares to battle snowstorm
Public Works crews gearing up with salt spreaders, snowplows
FREEHOLD, NJ – Meteorologists are predicting snowfall in Monmouth County tonight and tomorrow, and the county’s Public Works crews have been busy making preparations to keep the county roads clean.
Initially crews from the county’s Department of Public Works & Engineering applied liquid salt brine to many of the county’s roads in order to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the road surface. As weather conditions transition to snow, road crewswill be applying rock salt treated with magnesium chloride.
“We prepare for storms well in advance,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “Our snow room is activated and we are monitoring the storm’s progress throughout the day and into the weekend. We will have a full complement of crews out clearing the county roads.”
The county has the ability to put into service 150 trucks and other pieces of equipment to combat snowstorms, said John W. Tobia, director of the county’s Department of Public Works & Engineering. The county also has 40,000 tons of treated salt available for use during this storm.
According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow and windy conditions could produce a significant amount of snowfall in Monmouth County beginning this afternoon and ending tomorrow morning. Accumulations of up to 8 inches are predicted for most of Monmouth County. Combined with wind, drifting snow and ice, travel could be hazardous tonight and tomorrow.
The high winds could also lead to power outages throughout the county. The county’s Shade Tree Commission and Traffic Safety crews are on stand-by to remove downed tree limbs and assist with the reactivation and repair of traffic control devices.
The county has been applying the salt brine and magnesium chloride-treated rock salt in advance of storms since 2007. The salt brine and a pre-application of treated rock salt prevent the snow and ice from bonding to the roads, and the treated rock salt is environmentally friendly. It does not burn the grass or other roadside vegetation nor does it corrode the trucks or the steel bridge spans.
“The key is to keep the ice and snow from bonding to the road surface,” Tobia said. “You may notice that the lanes will be slushy instead of iced over. That’s the first step before the plows come by and push it all aside.”
“As a result, there have been far fewer telephone calls from local police departments with regard to trouble spots, Arnone said. Typically, when police dispatchers call to report icy conditions – usually on bridges or curved roadways –the county dispatches additional trucks to do some spot treatments.
The new rock salt works much better than the old rock salt, which was very corrosive to bridge structures, roadside vegetation, the roadway itself and trucks and equipment,” Arnone said.
“We have found that magnesium chloride-treated rock salt is much more effective and, therefore, there is a savings in man hours and material,” he said. “We use approximately 30 to 50 percent less material, depending on the snow event, for the same result.”
The county has approximately 1,000 lane miles of roads, 35 building complexes and the Belford Ferry terminal.
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