by Alan McArthur
Several winter weather “events” hit the region at a consistent pace in the month of December, forcing some entities in the region to be concerned about supplies of road salt necessary to treat roadways.
Platte City reported it has about 80 tons of salt left as of Monday, Dec. 31.
According to Keith Moody, city administrator, the city is in a conservative mode for using a mixture of salt and sand. The city uses between 8 and 10 tons for a mild weather event.
If crews work all of the roads in Platte City they can use about 20 tons depending on the amount of snow fall.
Platte County's Public Works department said they have a “very small amount” left to treat county roads.
Public Works Director Greg Sager said it has been difficult to acquire salt recently.
“Our supplier told us we will have four loads arriving on Thursday,” said Sager. “But until then we have to be frugal. We've been using a lot of traction material, like sand.”
Parkville reported it has between 350 and 400 tons of salt and sand.
Alan Schank, Parkville street superintendent, said crews use between 60 and 80 tons to treat roads in Parkville. However, in an ice storm the usage can be more than 100 tons.
“We have enough for another three to four storms,” said Schank.
Schank said the city received a shipment of 125 tons last week and expects to receive another shipment next week.
According to Moody, the city is currently using a mixture of salt and sand to focus on hilly roads in the city and intersections until the next shipment of salt arrives.
“We're expecting a delivery of salt this week,” said Moody. “However, there is already still some material on the streets; we basically have a pretreatment in place. This will require less salt later.”
One of the challenges for street crews is the thawing and then refreezing of the ice on roads. Temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing for the next few days before warming up again.
“We used quite a bit of material today because we knew it would be thawing,” said Sager. “When it gets cold it will freeze again. Refreezing makes clearing the roads more challenging.”