City engineer responds to road salt question

Sandusky engineer Aaron Klein recently answered a Mailbag question about city snow plow drivers.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 5, 2014


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.



200 tons have been on Monroe street west of Tiffin ave. alone.

tell it how it is

Apparently this person has never driven in another northern ohio city in the winter. Sandusky is one of the best taken care of. Better hope he doesn't travel into norwalk when it has snown, will probably have to pull over because it's "undriveable"


we've had only 1 good snow in the last 2 years

yea right

wow someone can not add..1143 + 407 = 1550.. this more than this winter..and this coming from a an engineer??


Wow, someone can't read. It says more than last 2 winters, not last 2 winters combined.

yea right

"Through Jan. 27, city snow plow trucks have dispensed 1,200 tons of salt — already more than the past two winters:" what does this say big mouth

Stop It

It does not specify 'combined'. For each winter separately, the math works.


It says the EXACT same thing I typed right above it. It doesn't say combined. I'm right, you're wrong, no big deal.


Many thanks to ALL who are out in the cold plowing roads!


Absolutely, I know the plow driver had his hands full in my development today! Took him 45-50 minutes when it's usually 10 minutes. We had 10+ inches on the roads and upwards of 3 ft drifts on the sides. That's in town too.


I love the plow's teeth .. so cool.

T. A. Schwanger


I don't mean to pick on downtown, but with the stated shortage of city manpower, why in the world is the City using manpower to clear the sidewalks in front of private downtown businesses while the need to clear City streets is falling short because of short staffing?

The Bizness

"I don't mean to pick on downtown..."

but you continuously do...

T. A. Schwanger



Only in the eyes of the uninformed and spin masters.


Are there extra plows sitting around not in use? Are the people clearing the sidewalks qualified to operate a snowplow? Are these people designated to cleaning the sidewalks? These questions need answered before your complaints have merit.


My street NEVER gets plowed. Very serious~never. They came through tonight after everyone complained~AFTER we all got stuck all day and had most of the street cleaned up only for them to come through later and plow us back in. Seems strange they can clean the streets all around next to us but not this one. I don't blame the drivers~very thankful for them actually~I just don't think there are enough of them. Just like everywhere else~too much management and not enough workers~not enough money to pay a worker but boy do we have it to pay the top dollar man! Most of them make more in a week than I do in a month~just doesn't pay to have the back`breaker jobs that matter anymore.


THANKS plow street was clear and I made it to work on time AGAIN !!


Wonder if Klein got a tong lashing from his bosses for the way he answered this same question last week?

Didn't city crews spread a mixture of beet juice brine pre-storm during past winters? Don't see this mentioned by Klein.


Time for Ard to declare NO PARKING ON CITY streets for 24 hours so the plows can clear the City of Snow. Most competent managers have done this twice this year already.


^^^ not everyone has a driveway. Where would you like people to park that don't have one? Seams unrealistic to me.


Very true.


They do this in Toledo. You find a city lot or somewhere to park in. They even towed cars to them. The corner drug store, a church lot, city parking lot. Where ever.


And then the elderly get to walk through the 10+ inches of snow on the sidewalks?


^^ again very unrealistic. We are not Toledo, we don't have that many city lots.


I drive Sandusky streets from out of town. I think too the streets seem to be worse than other communities I am in. Yet, I clarify that its not because Sandusky street employees are not doing the job. I think its more difficult in the city with narrow streets in some places, so many parked cars, buildings that guide the snow into large drifts etc. Plus this has been a brutal winter with so much snow.

Give everyone 8 weeks and all this will be a distant memory and it will then be the potholes that are around the city.


if you have ever plowed snow for a city or state you would understand, i did not until i started plowing..way more in it than u think


Given the manpower they have, I think they are doing a great job. As for using manpower downtown on the sidewalks, don't they HAVE TO with businesses down there? I would think they would have to clear the sidewalks for pedestrian traffic as well. That should be a priority for downtown. Nitpicking is right.

The plowing is doing the best they can with which they have to work. Criticizing and nitpicking isn't helping. I would think "ataboys" are in order rather than taking them apart. They are doing the best they can. Thanks guys.

To quote Winston Churchill "never have so many owed so much to so few".


Plowing the downtown streets as one of the top priorities is a given. However, with City crews being short staffed as you stated, why are crews clearing snow in front of private business'? Not quite sure when this practice started, but for sure the crews are being told to do it by a higher up. I don't see City crews clearing snow from other businesses in town. I'm sure they are not clearing your snow. They don't do mine-nor would I expect them to. It's called a shovel and a broom.


With bad weather comes bad driving conditions. Period.


Been shoveling and brooming~ Still so much snow on my street ~they did come through with ONE swipe FINALLY last night for the very first time in days and blocked us all in~went out shoveling again this AM and moved cars to other side of street and all of us have BEGGED and I do mean BEGGED for them to get the snow off the other side~still NOTHING~~` Have elderly people walking a block to get to their homes~PITIFUL!! It hasn't snowed today so what is the hold up? NOW the whole block is Pi$$ed! We once had a city employee living on this block and guess what~plowed always~since he moved NOTHING. There is a city employee that lives on the street that runs past ours and guess what~IT IS PLOWED~all they had to do was turn the corner to do this one block! SICK OF IT! WHY PAY TAXES? What do we get anymore??


No wonder all of the decent people are leaving this hole in the wall!!!!


Well, another day is over. After begging for a snow plow on our street~NOTHING. Can't use parked cars for an excuse~everyone moved them~and waited~and waited..............