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City engineer responds to road salt question

Andy Ouriel • Feb 5, 2014 at 7:40 PM

The question: Does Sandusky use salt on its roads? The road conditions seem to be worse here than any other northern Ohio city.


City Engineer Aaron Klein and Chief Planner Rebecca Corrigan will be our guests on Between the Lines on Friday at noon

Klein answered the question in two separate sections:


Through Jan. 27, city snow plow trucks have dispensed 1,200 tons of salt — already more than the past two winters:

•Winter 2013-14: 1,196 tons (to date)

•Winter 2012-13: 1,143 tons

•Winter 2011-12: 407 tons

Furthermore, with bitter cold temperatures, Klein said it’s almost pointless to drop salt on roads when the temperature is below a certain point.

It must be “19 degrees or more for salt to work unless it is sunny outside, then it may work a few degrees colder” Klein said.

To conserve salt, trucks typically drop the chemical compound at intersections as opposed to all along a specific road. Salt is also used on main routes and throughout downtown. This practice is common in many political subdivisions across northern Ohio.

“The salt shed has been refilled, and we are ready to respond during the next event” Klein said.


The street department employs 10 full-time workers to plow snow. But these workers are constantly asking for assistance from all other departments to clear roads faster.

As with salt, crews prioritize which streets they clear based on vehicular traffic. The more cars traveling on a street, the more attention it receives from a snow plow. Downtown and main roads, such as Columbus Avenue, are priorities.

With cuts to staffing levels and union stipulations, snow plow drivers are limited in how many hours they can work, Klein said.

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