New Castle News

Closer Look

January 4, 2014

Some salt supplies in county running low after snowfall



Fred Garrett, superintendent of New Wilmington Borough, received three 25-ton loads last week, also through the Costars program and from North American Salt.

He said orders, filled in one to two weeks after placed, were delayed because of “the craziness of the past few weeks.”

Garrett said he is careful with his use of salt, concentrating on hills and intersections.

The borough does not plow or treat level side streets or state roads that cross it, he said.

“If we did, we’d use a lot more salt.”

Scott Collins, Lawrence County manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said his salt supply is adequate.

“We loaned New Castle some material last week,” Collins said, adding, “We’re happy to do that, providing we have it. You don’t want to run out. That’s bad.”

However, he noted the current cold weather reduces the effectiveness of road salt.

“When it gets below 25 degrees, salt’s ability to melt snow and ice decreases,” he said. This is why the salt is mixed with anti-skid materials. The combination helps motorists to gain traction on hills, curves and intersections.”

Collins said he was happy to see the sun yesterday morning.

“The sun hits the black asphalt and reactivates the salt, even with low temperatures,” he said. “The combination of sun and salt is what we look for when it’s cold like this.”

(Email: nlowry

(Reporter John K. Manna also contributed to this story.)


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