Ocean, Monmouth Haul Out the Heavy Rigs for Snow
Accumulations are expected to be anywhere from two inches to a half-a-foot by the time it's over. Not enough for everyone to take a snow day, for sure. So road crews in Ocean and Monmouth Counties set about securing their combined 1,620 miles of highway before the first flakes hit.
Everywhere that pavement was no longer wet from rain, teams applied liquid salt brine followed by a magnesium chloride coating. The combination keeps snow and ice from bonding with surfaces and quickens any necessary plowing.
Monmouth County Freeholder Director Tom Arnone notes that the combination saves man-hours and stretches their budget. "We use 30 to 50 percent less material and require less spreading trips, depending on the snow event, for the same result,” he observed.
The magnesium treated salt, Arnone related, is a big step up from the corrosive type that once was the only option. He says that it doesn't burn grass or roadside foliage, and is gentler on auto and truck bodies and steel bridges.
Wherever rainwater hadn't dried in Ocean County, they reverted to plain rock salt. "We were able to salt all the roads prior to the snow coming down," said Assistant Ocean County Roads Supervisor Scott Waters, "so as long as the temperatures stay where they are, we'll be fine."
Ah. But they're dropping tonight. Townsquare Meteorologist Alan Kasper calls for lows between 17 and 21 here at the shore. Not a problem, Waters remarked.
"The salt will work even more in our favor, keeping that layer between the snow and the road itself."
We get some sun back Wednesday and Thursday, but temperatures aren't expected to climb much above 30 degrees. So, it'll look like a postcard at the shore for a day or two, but it'll be a far cry from Snowmageddon. However, the driving will still be risky wherever black ice stays stubbornly in place.