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Ice treatment equipment

Clearing roads of ice and snow

Minnesota ice is not nice on roadways and neither is snow. During cold weather events, Bloomington Public Works Maintenance Division is on call 24/7 with a crew of up to 75 staff. It takes an average of 12 hours to clear 350 center-lane miles of main arterial roads after a snow event.

Road treatment begins with careful planning. “We’re like meteorologists over here. We’ve got to watch the weather and have a plan of attack,” Street Maintenance Supervisor Michael Kalis said.

Before precipitation falls, anti-icing begins and streets are coated with a brine mixture. While the brine has a touch of salt, corn and beet extracts are sometimes added for more stickiness and melting power. In any case, Public Works mixes their own brine solution. Road conditions, weather and other calculations determine what is used.

Once the snow or ice comes, it’s on to the second step: plowing and applying sand or salt where needed to keep roads safe. Anti-icing before snow or ice storms reduces the amount of salt needed to clear streets afterwards. The City is committed to sustainable practices and reducing chlorides.

For information, visit blm.mn/de-ice or contact Public Works at 952-563-4581 or publicworks@BloomingtonMN.gov.