Allen Co. Highway Department busy preparing equipment for winter weather

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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – As winter weather begins to arrive, the Allen County Highway Department (ACHD) has ben busy preparing for any snow or ice that may settle on the over 3,000 lane miles of county roads and streets this winter.

The Allen County Commissioners said that employees used the last week of October and first week of November to prepare all of the trucks and check other equipment ahead of the winter season.

ACHD said it uses several types of vehicles for snow and ice control: five graders, 27 tandem axle dump trucks, seven single axle dump trucks and four one-ton small dump trucks. There are also 10 heavy duty pick-up trucks to help clear intersections and smaller areas.

The county is divided into north and south district with 12 zones in each district, the commissioners said. Each zone will have at least one truck with some having two or more. The graders will be used to clear gravel roads, areas with large drifts of snow and to clear berms of snow build-ups.

For anti-icing, a sand-salt mixture will be used on most roads, the commissioners said. Calcium chloride mixed with sand and salt will be used on road that need to be cleared to bare pavement. For gravel roads, stone chips will be used when they become slippery.

On higher traffic county highways, the department said liquid calcium chloride will be applied along with a salt-sand mixture. There are 36 trucks that are equipped to apply the liquid onto the salt-sand mixture.

“The calcium chloride solution speeds the chemical reaction of the salt, causing it to melt snow and ice much quicker,” the commissioners said.

Once the roadways are determined to be too slippery or a significant amount of accumulation is covering the roadways, the snow removal will begin. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department will also contact the Highway Department when the roads need to be treated, ACHD said.

Allen County will use the statewide travel advisory system to warn motorists about hazardous conditions on county highways. Travel advisories fall into one of three categories:

  • Advisory, the lowest level, means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.
  • Watch means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. Only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended. Businesses, schools, government agencies and other organizations should implement their emergency action plans.
  • Warning, the highest level, means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a warning, the public is directed to refrain from all travel; comply with necessary emergency measures; cooperate with public officials and disaster services forces in executing emergency operations plans; and obey and comply with directions from properly identified officers. More specific restrictions, including parking restrictions, may be included.

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