Cities, towns rely on different methods to clear roads - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cities, towns rely on different methods to clear roads

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MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

When it comes to plowing the roads, what's used to melt the snow depends on where you live.

Some towns use salt and other municipalities use sand while others use a mixture of both or even a new chemical solution. 

Every town had trucks on the roads Wednesday as they got rid of snow and ice as fast as they could, but many differ on how to do it. 

Plow trucks in Middletown were out all morning and in the afternoon, they were filling up on salt and sand.

The city uses a mixture of salt and sand to melt snow and ice, but not all the time, in some areas, they use just salt.

"We use it in the downtown areas, the business district and such," said Joe Augeri, the assistant supervisor for Middletown Public Works Department. "(It) keeps those areas in the downtown district on Main Street, it melts off quicker."

Augeri said they've looked at different treatments such as magnesium chloride, which not only melts snow and ice, but keeps it from refreezing.

But the mixture is expensive and Augeri said there could be some environmental concerns.

The town of Bristol started using magnesium chloride. They used it to pre-treat the roads in a storm earlier this month.

Bristol officials said they feel it's effective, especially when temperatures drop in the teens and single digits. But car experts said no matter how effective, it will do a number on the car's undercarriage by corroding items such as brake and gas lines. 

In Rocky Hill, they don't use sand or chemicals. They use just salt, along with liquid salt.

Highway supervisor Glenn Parent said liquid salt is good to use before a storm, but only if its cold. Once temperatures go above 30 degrees, it can cause the roads to have a slippery surface.

Salt can also be rough on cars, Parent said that's why they also use a rust inhibitor.

"It's proven, tried and true," Parent said. "We have tested it out. We are happy with our product."

Towns have told Eyewitness News it was hard to put anything down when the storm hit  because the snow was coming down so fast.

Now they have treated the roads and the concern Wednesday night was ice as it gets colder.

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