1/2 – Monmouth County Ready to Battle Snowstorm: Crews Pre-Treating Roads in Advance

January 2, 2014
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FREEHOLD – Meteorologists predict 3 to 8 inches snow could fall in Monmouth County in the next 24 hours, and the Monmouth County’s Public Works crews have been busy today applying liquid salt brine and rock salt to the county roads.

“Pre-treating the roads is key,” said Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone, liaison to the Monmouth County Department of Public Works and Engineering. “Magnesium chloride-treated rock salt is much more effective and, therefore, there is a savings in man hours and material. We use 30 to 50 percent less material and require less spreading trips, depending on the snow event, for the same result.”

Road crews from the county’s public works and engineering department apply liquid salt brine to the county roads, followed by an application of salt treated with magnesium chloride. The pre-treatment prevents the snow and ice from bonding to the road surface, making it easier for the plows to clear the snow.

The county maintains about 1,000-lane miles of roads.

“The county’s snow room is open and we are monitoring the storm’s progress and we have 135 trucks outfitted with spreading and plowing capabilities,” Arnone said. “Our process helps us manage the personnel needed at the county’s 10 highway districts and dispatch crews as needed.”

According to the National Weather Service, snow and windy conditions are expected in Monmouth County later today and overnight. Combined with wind, drifting snow and ice, travel could be hazardous.

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.

“Monmouth County’s snow removal program is unique because we focus on keeping the ice and snow from bonding to the road surface,” said John W. Tobia, public works and engineering director. “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.”

This is the fifth snow season the county will be using the salt brine combined with magnesium chloride-treated rock salt. The new rock salt is much more efficient than the old rock salt, which was very corrosive to bridge structures, roadside vegetation, the roadway itself and trucks and equipment.


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