Beginning at the end of October and continuing through the end of March, activities include: snow & ice control, anti-Icing, snow plowing, tree removal & trimming, brush removal & trimming, and highway surface maintenance.
The Maintenance Department has 28 snowplow trucks, 3 anti-icing trucks, an Oshkosh Snow Blower, and an automatic self-Spraying anti-icing bridge deck. The County Roads are divided into routes and more trucks are assigned to clear the larger capacity roadways. The County uses an enhanced rock salt mixture to improve melting ability and reduce corrosion of the rock salt. The Maintenance Department also performs anti-Icing, the application of a liquid material, salt brine, to the dry roadway surface in anticipation of a snow or ice event, to curves, hills, and bridge decks. The County puts up 6 miles of snow fence and utilizes a living snow fence program—where farmers are compensated for leaving between 6 and 10 rows of corn in their field parallel to the roadway. This provides improved safety for the roadway from drifting snow and also a reduction in operating cost for the Maintenance Department.Sharing the Road with a Snowplow
Winter driving often means sharing the road with a snowplow. This calls for extra caution on the part of motorists. VISTA Training, Inc. of Burlington, WI, recently conducted refresher training for Kane County snowplow operators. During the training, several winter driving tips for motorists were suggested:
- Don’t try to pass unless you can see ahead clearly. Snowplows often kick up a cloud of snow when they’re moving down a rural highway or freeway. It’s dangerous to try to pass through this snow cloud because you don’t really know what’s in it.
- Don’t follow too closely. Snowplow operators often have to stop, turn and back up if they’re clearing an intersection. If a vehicle is following too closely, the snowplow driver may not be able to see it.
- Expect roads to be slippery, slow down and at least double your following distance to avoid collisions and damage from flying salt and sand.
- Use your good judgment. Delay or postpone your trip until conditions improve.
- Move your vehicle to the left of your lane so the equipment operator can see you in the mirror.