DPW crews across New Jersey prepare for 4th winter storm of the month
Department of Public Works crews around New Jersey are gearing up for another round of winter weather.
Thursday’s storm is expected to bring up to 9 inches of snow to parts of the state. Many of the departments are still waiting to replenish rock salt supplies that were depleted in previous winter storms this month.
The Fairfield DPW was hoping to have another 50 tons of salt by the time their 20 plows hit the roads early Thursday morning. The supply was ordered earlier this month, but because every town seems to need more salt this year, crews are doing more with less.
“We generally start with 100 tons of salt. Behind me is probably 45-50 tons of salt. In a typical storm, we will use about 50 tons,” says Fairfield Township Administrator Joseph Catenaro.
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Catenaro says that it is not an emergency and that there is still enough supply to properly treat the nearly 37 miles of local roads in the town. There is a lot of demand for salt this winter due to the amount of snow.
“The entirety of the state seems to be using a lot of salt. So as a result, the deliveries are taking much longer than normal to replace it,” Catenaro says. “Because we have good relations with other communities – we always do this – we share products. So we’ll rely on other communities to give us a couple of loads here and there.”
Town officials also say that crews will be a bit more conservative with their own existing supply of salt when the crews hit the road around 6 a.m. Thursday.
“Right now, we’re concentrating on interactions, curves in the road and hills,” Catenaro says. “When we have enough stores of salt, we’ll do every road in town.”
Fairfield is still on budget when it comes to rock salt and overtime for crews. Officials say that they are hopeful that the batch of salt ordered earlier this month will come before the next storm.