If you’ve slipped and slid around Oswego this winter, you’ve
probably wondered where the salt trucks are.
They are out there. And they’ve been dumping a lot of salt.
So far this winter, the Village has used 1,300 tons of rock salt on the roads, said Village Public Works Director, Jennifer Hughes, PE.
The average snowfall takes between 100-200 tons average.
To put that in perspective, the Village purchased a little over 1,200 tons of rock salt for the year.
“We’re starting to see our supply dwindle,” said Hughes.
Village Administrator Steve Jones said the Village started out the year with a full salt supply and budged for a regular year.
“This hasn’t been a regular year,” Jones said with a laugh.
Fortunately, the Village had a decent amount of salt left from the previous winter, so Hughes said there is still about 900 tons to get the Village through the rest of the year.
“That could be enough if we don’t get too much more snow.”
She did say that several more “snow events” are planned in the coming weeks, and depending on the severity it could “exhaust our salt supply pretty quickly.”
To spread out the salt, Hughes said in some instances they have only salted intersections and hills. They are not salting any cul-de-sacs as well.
As a reminder, IDOT is responsible for the salting and plowing of state roads, which include Routes 71, 34, 30 and 25 through Oswego. The Village does not plow or salt these roads.
Plus, there’s that nasty cold to deal with.
“With the colder temperatures we did not salt because it would not be effective,” said Hughes. Rock salt stops being effective at around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which we can all say has become a regular temperature ‘round these parts.
Hughes said the Village has looked at sand, which is cheaper on purchase, but expensive and messier to cleanup.
Rock salt availability is dwindling though as areas all across Chicagoland as towns stock up for the rest of winter following the already heavy-hitting storms.
The Village is looking at other vendors for salt, in the chance that more salt is needed. Prices are also starting to go up, and Hughes said they want to get in front of that “as quickly as possible.”
At the Tuesday night board meeting, Village trustees voted to allow the purchase of $40,000 more in additional rock salt.
“We’re not saying we’re going to need it,” said Hughes. “But we’ll have it available should the need arise.”
How have the Village roads been by you?