Madison Township Road Superintendent Terry Spangler is a happy man, as long as the snow stays away.
"This is the first time in three years we didn’t have to worry about being called out on Christmas for snow removal," said Spangler prior to the start of the Madison Township trustees’ Dec. 21 meeting. "We’re loving this weather and saving money. Last year at this time we had already been out plowing three times. My wife usually calls me a Grinch around this time of year, but bad weather can make me kind of grouchy. That isn’t the case this year."
The township budgets $25,000 a year for salt and brine, which is used a pre-treatment prior to the onset of foul weather.
According to Spangler, up to 350 hours of overtime were used in previous years on snow removal and treatment, depending on weather conditions impacting the township’s 41.24 miles of roads.
Spangler said his crews use salt before and during snowfalls and icy conditions. A brine solution is applied on roadways before a snow event when temperatures are above 25 degrees. Brine is a water and sodium chloride solution that is less expensive than road salt and involves a more precise application process. It is considered by the Salt Institute to be 10 times more effective than rock salt when applied prior to a snowfall or ice storm.
"People can help our crew during bad weather by removing their cars from the street and not getting too close to snow removal equipment," said Spangler.
Motorists are cautioned to refrain from passing snow plows and sanding trucks. Drivers have limited visibility, and motorists are likely to find the road in front of them worse than the road behind.
The Weather Channel offers the following tips for driving on ice and snow:
•Decrease your speed and leave plenty of room to stop.
•Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
•Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
•Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
•Keep your lights and windshield clean.
•Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills.
•Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
•Be careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first.
•Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
•Don’t assume a vehicle can handle all conditions.