Here's the full news release:
This year’s severe weather has challenged road crews throughout the Midwest and nearly eight weeks remain before spring officially arrives. In anticipation of further snow events this season, the city of Valparaiso is implementing its salt management plan for the rest of the winter. “Because of the mild winter last year, we had more than 6,000 tons of salt available to us for this season, which was double what we used last year. Yet, this extreme winter has already depleted 4,000 tons of salt, leaving us with just 2,000 tons to get through the remainder of the winter,” said Matt Evans, Valparaiso’s Public Works Director. “Because of the high demand, there is no additional salt for purchase. We’re more fortunate than many communities in that we have some remaining, but we need to be smart in the way we use it.”
Valparaiso has seen salt shortages before. As a result of the shortage during the winter of 2008-09, the city adopted a salt reduction program that has helped protect our environment and city finances. To protect the city’s remaining salt supplies and maintain safe roadways, Valparaiso is reinforcing this salt management program.
“Safety remains our first priority,” said Evans. “We’re simply being careful about how we use our limited salt resources,” he said. Residents may notice some changes in the way roadways are treated for the remainder of this winter. These changes include:
*The addition of sand to the city’s salt mixture. Not only does this conserve salt, but the addition of sand also provides quick traction at temperatures too low for salt to be effective.
*On thoroughfares, salt will no longer be distributed along entire roadways start to finish, but used judiciously – on hills, curves, roundabouts, intersections (stop signs and stoplights), railroad crossings, bridges, school zones, and turn lanes.
*While neighborhoods will be plowed and passable, salt will not be distributed in neighborhoods.
Motorists are asked to reduce speeds to ensure safety. Public Works wishes to remind residents to remove vehicles from roadways anytime there is snow of two inches or more so that plows may clear snow. In addition, snow removed from private property must not be transferred to roadways, as this is a violation of city code.