TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka is fully staffed, stocked and prepared for the winter road conditions while attempting something new.
Standard road salt is not good for streets or sidewalks. That’s why this year, the City of Topeka is implementing new ways to better treat the roads while saving money. A salt brine liquid the city is making is made to reduce its freezing temperature from 32 to 18 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Nobody wants to drive on ice,” Todd Workman, with Topeka’s street department said. “If you can clear your streets off and make them just wet as opposed to just ice packed in, it’s important for the safety of anybody that’s driving.”
What used to cost the city around $1 per gallon, now only costs about $.20 to make their own salt brine mix. The city is focusing on saving money while limiting things like pot holes.
“When you use brine, you’re only using 50 pounds of salt per lane mile as opposed to when you’re applying dry salt, you’re applying 200,” Workman said. “You’re not having all that salt go into the ground water, and we all know how bad salt is on the streets anyway, so the less salt you can put on the streets the better.”
A city official said it will be fully staffed for the winter season as early as Nov. 13.
“About 15 of those folks are still in CDL training, so they are not able to drive the dump truck yet,” Public Works Deputy Director Tony Trower said. “Once we get all of our new employees CDLs, then they’ll be in these plow trucks too.”