(01/31/14) - Once again, road crews around Mid-Michigan are gearing up for
the next snow storm to come our way.
The weather is a little warmer now, so road crews will be able to attack the snow using a different strategy.
The last snow storm brought a light, powdery snow because the temperatures were so low, but this coming storm will be different.
Temperatures will be much warmer and salt will be more effective.
Friday evening, county road commission trucks will be spraying brine on many roads. John Daly, of the Genesee County Road Commission, says that will make it easier to clear the roads after the snow has fallen and it can prevent ice from forming.
The snow storm that started Jan. 6 brought high winds, and snow plow crews often struggled to keep main roads open. This time, snow plow operators should be more aggressive and roads should remain passable after one or two passes.
Salt wasn't used widespread last time, but will be this weekend.
Road commission officials noted there's still two months nearly guaranteed that there will be snow and ice, so another order of salt was placed.
"We had a delivery of salt on Monday. We spent Monday and Tuesday getting salt here at the main garage in Flint and then taking the salt out to the five outlying garages, along with we used a lot of sand last time so we needed to restore those sand reserves at the outlying garages," Daly said.
For the first time in the city of Flint, the Genesee County Road Commission will be also working on two main Flint streets.
During the last big snow storm, the Michigan Department of Transportation took responsibility for maintaining M-54 and M-21 in Flint. Friday afternoon, MDOT called Genesee County.
"We were asked by the Michigan Department of Transportation if we could take over the snow removal responsibilities inside the city of Flint on the state trunk lines for the next four to five days. And we told them we would be able to do that," Daly said.
Although the county has plowed I-475 before, it never cleared any other streets in Flint.
MDOT will reimburse the road commission for the expense. Even so, Daly says this weekend's storm will put some strain on the overall road commission budget.
"We spent about 20 percent more than what we spent this time last year," Daly said.
We might notice the effects of that next June and July.
"You're going to see probably decreased maintenance operations during the summer. There will be less money available for those operations because we took that money and spent it during the winter time," Daly said.
ABC12 Main Station