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Snowplows, salt brine and devoted crews: How the city of Twin Falls prepares for snowy days

Posted at 6:41 PM, Dec 16, 2021

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — In winter months, snowplows on the streets and streaks on the road from salt brine are how most people experience their city’s efforts to keep roads safe.

What many people don’t see are the preparations behind plowing and de-icing roadways. Prior to snowfall, the salt brine is applied to the roads, to help prevent snow from adhering to roadways and ice from accumulating.

This mixture works as a de-icing solution and must be made according to temperature and precipitation. The City of Twin Falls makes its de-icing mixture, which allows for an accurate mixture while also keeping costs lower.

Making de-icing mixtures close to home is common in larger cities, but it’s a recent development for Twin Falls.

After a snowfall, snowplow crews are dispatched. They run plows and salt sanders in constant rotation until they can get major roadways safe and open.

“It’s not just the salt solutions and the plowing and what people see on the roadways, but ahead of time it’s planning to have the correct number of trucks, to have the correct equipment and also the correct technology to be able to keep up with the type of conditions we are having,” said Josh Palmer, spokesperson for the City of Twin Falls.

While the city works to ensure proper measures are in place, drivers can work to prevent accidents.

“If you see a plow on the road make sure to give them plenty of space and room to work. The safest place is behind the plow,” said Jillian Garrigues, the Public Information Officer for the Idaho Transportation Department.

Passing snow plows is dangerous, and doing so causes problems annually.

“The biggest challenge we experience each year our drivers who attempt to pass or turn in front of or otherwise break or slow down in front of our plow trucks,” said Palmer. The plows must maintain a certain rate of speed in order to successfully remove snow.