Meadville Tribune

February 20, 2014

Salt supply in Crawford County holding up despite shortages elsewhere


Meadville Tribune

— Although the exceptionally cold and snowy winter has left some states in the Mid-Atlantic and east facing road salt shortages, winter-hardy Crawford County is holding up well.

While officials in Linesville and Conneaut Lake boroughs recently expressed concern about their level of road salt supplies, it appears few are worrying across Crawford County, according to county Emergency Management Agency Director Alan Clark.

In response to a Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency statewide request last week, Clark surveyed road salt levels in all Crawford County municipalities.

“Some Crawford municipalities use salt, others use brine or sand. For the most part, our municipalities don’t have any shortages,” Clark said. However, it is clear that municipalities in the central and eastern parts of state have been hit pretty hard and might need to request salt, he said.

Pennsylvania has used road salt at a pace 24 percent ahead of normal, an additional cost of more than $8 million so far, according to The New York Times.

Locally, however, it seems the road salt plans are on track.

“For the rest of the winter, we should be OK,” Meadville City Manager Joe Chriest said. The city had about 450 tons of road salt available with another 700 tons on delivery and expected soon, according to information submitted to Clark. The city uses between 20 and 30 tons of salt per storm, noted Streets Department spokesperson Joe Gigler.

Supplies for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews in Crawford County and all across District One — which includes Crawford, Erie, Warren, Forest, Venango and Mercer counties — are holding up well, according to PennDOT spokesperson Jim Carroll.

Crawford County has used about 11,405 tons so far this winter, Carroll said, and the county has another 6,000 tons on hand.

In all of last winter, Crawford County used 14,622 tons, he reported, and the five-year average salt use for the county is 11,208 tons.

Crawford County has also used 10,751 tons of anti-skid this winter, Carroll said, with about 4,569 tons more on hand. The county used 15,117 tons of anti-skid last winter.

Clark noted that municipalities in need of salt are directed to check neighboring jurisdictions for help first and then go to PennDOT. Carroll said he knew of only two municipalities — both in Erie County — that had come to PennDOT’s District One asking for help.

Meadville Tribune reporters Konstantine Fekos and Mary Spicer contributed to this report.

PennDOT reminds property owners to keep snow off roadways

With snow again impacting in the region, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reminding residents of guidelines for shoveling or plowing snow around state-owned roadways to help ensure safe travel through the season.

Maintaining safe and passable roads is PennDOT’s top priority when dealing with winter weather. To help meet that need, PennDOT urges residents to not shovel snow onto state roads that have already been plowed. Snow should not be shoveled, blown or plowed onto any roadway as this can increase the potential for crashes, and property owners can be held liable for any resulting crashes.

State law requires citizens to use and maintain their property in ways that avoid creating hazardous road conditions for others, including not obstructing highway lanes and drainage facilities with snow and ice.

PennDOT offers the following guidelines for shoveling or plowing snow on property adjacent to state-owned roadways:

- Snow should be shoveled, blown or plowed to the right side of the driveway as you are facing the intersecting roadway. By piling the snow away from the oncoming direction of the snow plows, the snow will not be pushed back onto the driveway.

- Eliminate snow piles at the property entrance whenever possible. High accumulations of snow can obstruct the vision of motorists, posing a safety hazard.

- Do not push, shovel or blow snow onto roadways at any time. This creates a hazardous condition for all vehicles.