Despite this week’s earlier-than-normal snowfall, the Allen County Highway Department says it was not caught off guard.
Highway employees recently prepared for snow or ice that might hinder passage on any of the county’s 3,000 miles of highways this winter.
Crews prepared trucks and checked all equipment such as spreaders and plows to ensure everything was in working order, county spokesman Mike Green said.
The department uses several types of vehicles for snow and ice control, including five graders and 36 various types of dump trucks. County highway workers also use eight heavy-duty pickup trucks to help clear intersections and smaller areas.
Allen County is divided into two districts – north and south – with 12 zones in each district. Each zone will have at least one truck, and some will have two or more.
Graders will clear gravel roads, large drifts of snow and large snow buildups along the edge of the roads.
Calcium chloride mixed with sand and salt will be used on most paved roads, while stone chips will be used on gravel roads. On highly traveled highways, 36 county trucks will dispense calcium chloride along with a salt-sand mixture. The calcium chloride solution speeds the chemical reaction of the salt, causing it to melt the snow and ice much more quickly.
Snow removal will begin when the road are determined to be too slippery or a significant amount of accumulation is covering the roads. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department also notifies the highway department when roads need cleared.