City of Springfield salt domes are at capacity and brine is at full supply as the first seasonal snowfall might be taking shape Tuesday.
Office of Public Works crews were out over the weekend pre-treating some trouble spots with brine, or rock salt, said director Nate Bottom.
A system moving through the area could bring the possibility of some light snow accumulation, maybe an inch or so, said Alex Erwin, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Lincoln.
The last couple of trucks that could be utilized for snow removal were switched over on Thursday, Bottom said.
At full capacity, the department has 27 trucks running and will utilize backhoes as needed. It has some one-ton dump trucks that can also push snow and contractors on call for larger events, Bottom said.
Both salt domes on Clear Lake Avenue and at Prairie Crossing are full because the department purchased its full allocation of 7,200 tons when the price was at $46 per ton last year.
Bottom said the price has jumped up to $64.63 but is nowhere near the price of two years ago at $96.
The price usually averages around $60 to $70 per ton, Bottom said.
The brine, he added, is more of a preventative measure and is dispersed in areas that freeze up quicker, like bridge decks, or steeper grades like the Stanford Avenue Bridge, the Ash Street and Laurel Street underpasses and Monroe Street and Washington Street heading towards Chatham Road.
The goal of brine on roads is to lower the freezing point of water. The mixture with beet juice is to increase the longevity of the brine on pavement surfaces.
In the past, beet juice clogged some of the sprayers, so it was shelved. The sprayers were then re-calibrated to address it, Bottom said.
Erwin said precipitation could move into the area during the day Tuesday and potentially continuing through the evening and into Wednesday. Both rain and snow are possible with that, Erwin said, with rain being more likely during the day. As temperatures turn cooler into the evening, the precipitation may switch over to snow, he said.
The temperatures will be impacted by where exactly the system tracks, Erwin said. High temperatures are predicted to be in the mid to upper 30s Tuesday.
The better chance for precipitation is Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening and then precipitation should be exiting to the east by Wednesday morning, Erwin said.
Contact Steven Spearie: 217-622-1788, firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.
This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: Springfield, IL weather: City prepares for icy winter with salt, plows