Ocean County Preparing for Approaching Winter Storm

county plowOcean County trucks were already on the roads Wednesday morning spreading brine in preparation for this weekend’s predicted winter storm.

“Our Ocean County Road Department and Bridge Department are geared up and ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at us,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little.

With snowfall forecasts still uncertain Wednesday afternoon, Little said the county is taking no chances.

“Our fleet of 300 trucks and other vehicles and more than 200 employees from the Road and Bridge departments are ready to go,” he said.

Brine trucks were out early Wednesday spreading a mixture of road salt and water along 1,600 lane miles of county roads – the largest county road network in the state.

“Brine is a cost-effective way of keeping snow from piling up on the roads,” said county Road Supervisor J. Thomas Curcio. “Coating the road surface with brine before the snow starts falling makes it easier to plow later.”

At about 8 or 9 cents a gallon, it’s also much cheaper than liquid calcium.

The county mixes brine at three 10,000-gallon tanks located at garages in Plumsted, Toms River and Stafford townships.

Five tanker trucks deliver the mixture. The largest truck, a 5,500-gallon tractor trailer, can cover Route 539 in brine from Plumsted to Tuckerton and back, Curcio said.

While brine is an excellent option for storms such as this weekend’s, where forecasts call for snow to begin falling Friday night, it doesn’t work for storms that begin as rain and later change to snow.

“The rain washes it away very quickly,” he said.

On Wednesday employees were also busy checking vehicles and converting some equipment from paving operations to snow removal.

“Last week we were still paving,” Curcio said. “That’s the first time the weather was warm enough to allow us to pave in January.”

Once the snow does start to fall, the first of the county roads to be plowed are the 500 series, which includes such main roads as Hooper Avenue in Toms River Township, and Route 571, which travels through Toms River Township to Jackson Township. In Southern Ocean County, those roads include Route 539.

“We start with these main roads and work our way to the secondary roads,” Curcio said.

The department is also responsible for clearing all the county parking lots including the vocational-technical centers, the resource centers, Transportation Department, and libraries.

Curcio said the Road Department is assisted by other county departments including Solid Waste Management and Parks and Recreation.

“It’s a cooperative effort on the part of the County to make certain our residents are safe,” said Freeholder Little. “The cooperation makes for a much smoother and efficient operation.”


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  1. great now if the storm is a flop you don’t need to run around plowing and salting the pavement save the money (we can use it for the bussing!!)

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