Too Cold for Salt and Snow Plowing Updates

posted in: Environment, Notices, Safety | 0

posted February 11, 2021

With tonight’s snow, it will be far too cold to salt.  What that means is that roads will be snowy tonight. They’ll be snowy tomorrow. They’ll be snowy probably until sometime next week when temperatures finally get closer to 20 degrees.

Everything will be snowy, including the main roads.  So, you need to be careful out there.

If you have been sharing the previous Snow Plow Updates through your channels, I certainly appreciate it.

Here is a link to the update I just posted for your sharing needs: https://www.cityofmadison.com/residents/winter/SnowIce/snowPlowUpdates.cfm

Snow Plowing Updates

by Charlie Romines, Streets Superintendent
posted February 11, 2021 12:03 PM

Tonight’s snow will disrupt your commutes this evening and Friday. All roads will be snow-covered. Streets Division trucks will be out, but it is far too cold to apply salt.

Once the snow begins to fall, which is expected to begin sometime around dinner time tonight, Streets Division plow trucks will be dispatched to service the main thoroughfares that make up the salt route network of streets. Crews will be working throughout the night.

However, these trucks will not be applying salt. When temperatures get below 20 degrees, salt at the rate it is spread by the Streets Division is no longer effective. Instead of applying salt, crews will switch to applying sand where needed. Sand provides traction, but it does not melt snow and ice.

This means the main thoroughfares will be snow-covered as will residential streets. Roads will be slippery, especially after traffic compacts the snow down. Plows cannot peel up compacted snow from the road surface. Sand can help with traction over these areas, but conditions will be slick.

You must be cautious on the roads and make good choices. Allow for plenty of extra travel time to arrive at your destinations safely. Anticipate your stops and turns so you do not slide. Be slow. Be alert. Be patient.

As these arctic temperatures are expected to linger into next week, snowy and slippery roads will persist until temperatures rebound.

Streets Division staff will continue to monitor the roads and the weather. Additional updates will be provided as conditions change.

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