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Bloomington Briefing

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Public Works Department

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Snowplows and salt

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Bloomington Briefing Published November 2, 2022
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Updated on November 2, 2022
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Removing snow from roads and sidewalks improves safety and accessibility in the winter months. Snowplows and sidewalk plows are common tools Public Works uses to achieve safe streets and sidewalks. Salt is another tool crews use for pavement management.

“We put salt on the pavement because it makes ice weaker and easier to remove,” Water Resource Specialist Jack Distel said. “But, while it improves safety, there are big issues with salt. It’s polluting our lakes, ponds, wetlands and streams.”

If the concentration of salt in fresh water is too high, it can kill the fish and bugs that live there. Salt can also damage the metal and concrete of the City’s infrastructure, which leads to the need for costly repairs.

The City puts an anti-ice brine solution on the roads ahead of storms to help reduce the amount of salt needed to make them safe. The brine makes it more difficult for ice to bond to the pavement, meaning there is less ice on the pavement to be salted.

To go deeper, watch the video at blm.mn/salting.