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Village Vision News

Recent ice storm a real battle for Village

Thursday, December 29, 2016

When it comes to taking on winter weather, Public Works Director Larry Coloni is a pro. But even he had to admit that our most recent visit from Old Man Winter was a doozey. It’s not that a foot of snow fell, but this storm, which arrived the weekend before Christmas, put a layer of ice over everything in sight.

Advance preparation for winter storms begins with spraying the Village’s streets with a salt-brine-beet juice mix and giving special attention to treating intersections, curves and hills, Coloni said.
“As soon as we are aware of icing, we start spreading road salt at all of the main roads first,” Coloni said. “Then we do intersections and hills and curves on other streets.”

But ice being the dominant feature to this storm made things more challenging.

“With snow you still have some traction,” Coloni said. “We can remove it and get back to bare pavement soon after the event.”

But not so much when it comes to ice.

“The challenge is getting around in the dump trucks,” Coloni said. “Once treated, ice does not melt from salting until traffic moves it around. The salt pellets drop through the ice once applied, but to get an overall melt, we need traffic.”

Coloni said there was a time when he used cinders and sand, which provide great traction on ice but leave quite a mess. That method generates complaints when residents track the muck into their homes, he said.

The other major challenge Coloni and his crew faced was the fact that they had one of their two salt trucks down for repairs. It usually takes about 2 ½ hours to cover the Village with salt, but this time it took about seven hours, he said.

Ever the professional, Coloni offered an apology for how long it took to get streets safe for vehicle travel and promised to do a better job on the next winter weather event.

As for damage, he said there were a couple of mailboxes toppled over, a stop sign was hit and a some ornamental light poles on Phillip Circle were knocked down.

“This storm was on the high end of difficulty,” Coloni said. “We depend on the weather forecast for information, and based on the forecast that Friday night, the temp was supposed to rise throughout the night.

“Lesson learned — don’t trust the weather man.”

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