‘We did have a little dress rehearsal for winter,’ city crews prep for ice and snow removal

After a pretty dry December the Madison Streets Division is ready for some snowy and icy conditions.

“We did have a little dress rehearsal for winter around Halloween, ” said Bryan Johnson, the spokesperson for the Madison Streets Division.

Johnson said this year crews are using GPS software to improve driving safety and optimize salt distribution. Each of the 34 trucks is outfitted with a GPS tracking device that is connected to a screen back at the division’s headquarters. Officials can monitor drivers’ speeds and where trucks are.City officials say it’s one perk to having a budget like Madison’s but the city does offer some unique challenges.

“We are the second largest city in Wisconsin so we do have some resources available to use, but because of the relationship we have with our environment and how we sit on top of our drinking water aquifer it means we can’t just dump salt on the roads all winter long, we have to manage it,” Johnson explained.

Last year, the city used 9,000 tons of salt. Johnson said that changes year to year because it’s weather dependent. Last year more salt was used than previous years because there were about 40 inches of snow in a 30-day window, Johnson said.

Only time will tell what this year brings in needs, but the city works to ensure its salt use is appropriate.

City officials tell News 3 Now that they know the negative impacts it has on the environment and drinking water. Only 50 percent of city streets are salt routes, mainly major thoroughfares.

“We are going to continue our efforts to use as little salt as we can but also keep the roads safe as well because safety is the most important thing for us,” Johnson said.

A reminder alternate side parking is in effect, If you live in a snow emergency zone and do not abide by the rules you will get at least a $60 ticket.

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