Road crews drop everything to keep traffic moving

HARTINGTON — The road crews that during the winter plow the roads and put salt down to break up the ice are often under-appreciated heroes during the storm. With the local state office in Hartington covering over 200 miles in roads, they need to be prepared for anything that comes, and often need to change up strategies halfway through.
This past storm brought lots of ice on the roads, and Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Schrage needed to change their original strategy.
“The roads were a sheet of ice and our salt brine mix wasn’t breaking down the ice on the roads enough,” said Schrage. “As soon as we switched to rock salt though it started breaking up a lot better.”
The salt brine mixture starts to freeze at 17 degrees, but temperatures were warmer than that. Schrage figures the brine was not having its usual affect because the warm rain that was freezing on the roads kept diluting the brine mixture, making it less effective.

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