QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the threat of heavy snow neared on Wednesday, Warren County was ready. They had already spent the last two days getting around 40 miles of county roads more prepared than ever, before the first big snow of the season.
One of two new brine machines was at work at the county DPW building on River Street Wednesday, combining water and salt for a new treatment method that has been employed on some of the roads that most often turn hazardous once winter sets in. DPW head Kevin Hajos said Diamond Point in Lake George and County Route 11 were two big focuses.
“Hilly roads, those are the ones that tend to get cold very quick, so those are the ones that we want to treat first,” Hajos said.
Brine sinks into pavement where it’s applied, creating a layer that keeps ice from forming at all. As the saying goes, the ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
“When we come behind it now, we put down less salt,” Hajos explained. ” As opposed to 200 to 300 pounds per lane mile, now we’re down to about 100 to 200 pounds per lane mile.”
The process saves a lot of salt. One ton of salt can make 1,000 gallons of brine. The machines can produce up to around 1,600 gallons of brine in a single hour.
The machine in Queensbury is mobile, and is set for use by both Warren and Washington counties at large, as well as the town of Putnam, Dresden and Ticonderoga. A second, stationary machine is in Warrensburg, a centralized location with easy access to both the Northway and further north parts of Warren County. The Warrensburg machine is a fill-up location for the 12,000 gallons of brine tanks the county is working with.
The county’s goal is to cover at least 100 miles of road with brine this winter. Even with only 40 brined miles before Wednesday night’s snow, Hajos is confident the rest can get done. Once a road is brined, it shouldn’t need further treatment until the next storm hits.
The machines were paid for in part by The FUND for Lake George, who said in an interview last week that reducing road salt has a huge impact on the lake and other water bodies.