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Hamilton County Highway Dept. announces it is prepared for winter

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Hamilton County Highway Dept. has announced it is prepped for winter operations, a process which begins in the spring of each year.

Hamilton County coordinates roadway salt procurement for the county as well as all municipalities within the county. A special salt, distinguished by its green color, is treated to enhance its colder weather melting capability.

“The County Highway Department will use approximately 6,000 tons of salt per winter to treat nearly 1,200 miles of roadway and bridges in the unincorporated areas of the county,” Highway Director Brad Davis stated. “All trucks also maintain a capability to dispense liquid de-icing chemicals to assist with combatting snow and ice in much colder temperatures when salt is less effective.”

The salt costs $93 per ton. The county’s snow trucks have electronic ground-speed controls calibrated to maintain a predetermined salt application rate regardless of the trucks’ speed. Hamilton County also uses salt brine as part of an anti-icing program to help prevent snow and ice from bonding to the pavement. It also helps prevent frost on bridges and facilitates easier post-storm cleanup.

“The Highway Department should also be commended for the phenomenal job it does in inspecting and maintaining its snow-fighting fleet,” county commissioner Mark Heirbrandt stated. “That fleet includes 14 snow trucks, two V-plows, pickup trucks, brine making equipment, and liquid storage tank pumps. Good maintenance not only extends the life of the equipment, but it ensures nothing breaks down during a snow event.”

The highway department also is prepared to maintain a 24-hour operation if necessary. County councilman Steve Schwartz said additional CDL- and non-CDL-certified drivers are hired annually to supplement the full-time highway staff.

“They may be called upon to drive the large snow trucks when split shifting is required or to take out one of the pickup trucks equipped with snowplows. When things get real tight, commissioner Heirbrandt and I have been known to lend a hand as well,” Schwartz said.


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