Delaware snow crews ready to answer call


The Buckeye State has already seen an array of weather this month, including T-shirt weather and some snowflakes.

Nov. 14-20 is Winter Safety Awareness Week in Ohio, and Delaware residents are encouraged to act now to help minimize the potential risks associated with winter weather.

The City of Delaware began the 2021-2022 snow season with more than 3,000 tons of salt on hand for snow and ice removal operations on streets and roadways. Delaware snow crews are responsible for 179 lane miles of roadway, including local streets, state routes and parts of U.S. 23.

Central Ohio averages 27 inches of annual snowfall from November through April. Snow plowing in the City of Delaware is prioritized based on a street’s traffic volume and speed limit, with Priority 1 and Priority 2 routes receiving the earliest attention. Residential neighborhood streets are Priority 3 routes. They are addressed once all Priority 1 and 2 streets have been cleared, beginning in the neighborhoods where refuse collection is to take place next.

City crews deploy a variety of snow and ice management materials and techniques.

“Air temperature, pavement temperature, precipitation type and rate, all play a critical role in determining the best application of snow and ice management materials,” City spokesman Lee Yoakum said.

Road salt is the primary material utilized but at a current cost of $59.58 per ton, City crews are strategic in its use and mindful of the environment.

Before the salt goes down, however, pretreating pavement with salt brine reduces snow and ice build-up and makes for more effective plowing. The City makes its own brine solution at its East William Street facility.

After the brine dries, the salt coating on pavement can last for several days in advance of a storm. In contrast, when salt is applied directly to pavement, about 75 percent is scattered to the edge by bouncing and traffic, reducing its effectiveness and wasting product. Salt runoff also can impact watershed river systems. Additives, such as beet juice, help reduce the quantity of material applied on roadways.

Snow and ice facts and figures:

• About $340,000 was spent last winter on snow and ice removal.

• Approximately 3,000 tons of salt and 160,000 gallons of pre-treatment brine are used in an average winter.

• 12 plow trucks comprise the “front line” fleet. Each is equipped with a 10- or 11-foot blade and can carry between eight and 12 tons of salt.

• Downtown snow is plowed to the center to minimize parking restrictions and allow for business access and refuse collection.

Submitted story

Submitted by the City of Delaware.

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