Getting Ready Early
The dedicated staff of the Bureau of Highways (BOHs) is busy preparing for winter snow and ice control activities long before the first hint of snowfall. During the summer months, we first evaluate our fleet and staffing needs for the upcoming season. Our fleet of vehicles and equipment are then serviced and maintained to meet the demands of the winter season.
Snow and ice removal activities and the expense of our operations are reviewed each year. One cost control effort employed by the BOHs is the use private contractors. The process of securing snow removal contractors begins in July. Similar to the County fleet, contractor equipment is inspected and prepared for winter service.
Spreading the Word
Snow removal Information to educate the our citizens our citizen and businesses is also developed and prepared in the fall. During the spring months, a thorough review of the previous year’s snow removal outreach activities is conducted. Necessary changes are documented for implementation in the upcoming snow season.
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Anne Arundel County uses covered storage facilities for its road salt and stores a total of approximately 11,650 tons of salt at the following locations: Dover Road (Glen Burnie), Mountain Road (Pasadena), Crownsville Road (Annapolis), Broadneck Road (St. Margarets), Duckins Street (Odenton), West Central Avenue (Davidsonville), and at a storage yard in Friendship, MD. At the present time, a small portion of Anne Arundel County’s fleet is also equipped with liquid calcium chloride pre-wetting equipment. Pre- wetting dry salt during its application helps the salt to adhere to the roadway. In contrast, dry salt can “bounce” and blow off the roadway and be less effective.
Environmentally Responsible De-icing
De-icing materials are an effective tool for maintaining safe winter road conditions. However, the County is aware that excessive use can have negative impacts on the environment. Heavy use of road salts has been assessed to cause damage to vegetation, organisms in soil, birds and to other wildlife. Chloride ions from road salts find their way eventually into waterways, whether by direct runoff into surface water or by moving through the soil and groundwater. In surface water, road salts can harm freshwater plants, fish and other organisms that are not adapted to living in saline waters.
The BOHs strives to only apply as much salt as necessary to achieve safe driving conditions.