BISMARCK – With the first snowfall of the season expected across some parts of North Dakota as early as this weekend, the DOT, Burleigh County and Bismarck Officials want you to know that when those flakes fly, they’re ready.
For us we’re ready to go, we could go tonight if we had too,” said Jeff Heintz, Bismarck’s Director of Public Works.
Things may be green for the most part right now, but soon the rainbow of color that accompanies fall will be filling the landscape, and with fall comes the chance of snow.
April 28th was the last time snow was recorded in Bismarck, it capped of a winter that saw over 60 inches of the white stuff pile up.
And because of all that snow, Burleigh County crews are beefing up supplies this season and introducing some new tools to battle old man winter.
“One is a pre-wetting system, both the city and the state have used this product, but it’s the first time for the county to use it. At particular different events and on high volume roadways, we’ll be doing pre-wetting this year,” said Burleigh County Engineer Marcus Hall.
Marcus Hall oversees Burleigh County’s highway department and tells KX News they’ve got 3,300 tons of a sand salt mixture on hand this year.
In Bismarck, they’ve got a whole fleet of vehicles of all shapes and sizes to battle the snow, KX News spoke with Public Works Director Jeff Heintz who tells us they’ve got 6,000 tons of sand and salt ready to go this winter and have made improvements to their beet-heat liquid mixture.
That has more sugars in it and a few other chemicals in it, Calcium Chloride some of those things that will get us a lower freezing point so we can apply that material to like 15-below zero and still get it to melt the ice off the roadway.”
Then there’s the DOT, they may have the hardest job of all, keeping the thousands of miles of state maintained roads clear this winter, but they’re also ready to go.
“We usually buy 44,000 to 55,000 tons a year, and we’ve got all our salt sheds filled now, we are ready for any snow that would happen, we’re watching forecasts we got the plows ready to go we just hook the trucks up to them and go,” said Brandon Beise: Maintenance Operations Engineer: ND-DOT
All three told KX News once the first snow hits, to give plow drivers plenty of room to allow them to get the job done as fast as possible.