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Village Vision News

Public Works ready if, when winter comes

Thursday, December 31, 2015

You may recall from previous years that Public Works Director Larry Coloni likes to prep the village’s roadways with a mixture of beet juice and salt brine when bad weather is imminent. The telltale signs that Coloni believes winter weather is a possibility are evident when you see what look like lines sprayed on the pavement — that’s the trail left by the beet juice and salt brine.

Whether Coloni will get to use that tool much this season remains to be seen. So far winter around these parts has looked more like soggy Seattle than snowy Central Illinois. But, judging by all the plows and equipment that Coloni has ready to go, he and his crews are prepared for whatever comes our way.

Coloni has to be ready for any kind of winter, even if it’s an El Niño weather pattern that carries the possibility of a warmer season with less snow like we are experiencing so far this year. The last couple of years he’s bought between 100 tons and 150 tons of road salt just to be on the safe side.

When we do get a snowstorm, Coloni’s strategy is to get the main roads open first and try to uncover enough snow to get down to dry pavement within the first 24 hours of the snowfall. According to Coloni, it takes about four hours to get the entire village cleared.

While a snowstorm is ongoing, Public Works crews try to keep the village’s streets as clear as possible. Attempting to widen the roadway paths through the snow isn’t really part of the strategy until crews have gotten ahead of the storm or until the storm slows down.

Reminder: Coloni says to be patient if you’re thinking of rushing out to move snow off your driveway. It’s best to wait until plows have gone past your house, he says, or you risk having some of that snow you just moved pushed right back into your driveway. Also, it’s best to not move snow out in the street if you can avoid doing so. But if you do, snow that is pushed out to the street should be on the same side of your driveway that the plows are traveling. That means if plows are working your street going in a southbound direction, snow needs to be pushed to the south side of your driveway.

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