Road Commission preps for winter weather

St. Joseph County Road Commission Manager Chris Minger said his crews are ready for winter, and they might get their first test of the season this weekend.

With a new storage shelter holding 3,000 tons of a salt-sand mix, the original barn loaded with a 1,200-ton combination and another 18,000 tons of sand stored outdoors at the north end of its property, the road commission has a strong inventory of ammunition against snow and ice, Minger noted.

He said the new storage garage is nearly 50 percent larger than the original barn.

Eventually, Minger said, when the original barn is cleared he would like it to be designated for salt storage only. The newer barn would then hold the sand-salt application that the road commission mixes on site. The ratio is 3.5 parts sand to one-part salt.

Salt is relatively low in price right now, at $43 a ton. Minger recalled times when salt has cost in excess of $60 a ton.

The road commission which operates on a $5.6 million annual budget, is responsible for treating 1,022 miles of roads in St. Joseph County.

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