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Snowy conditions difficult for plow drivers

Henrietta, N.Y. -- Freezing temperatures are making the job of plow drivers more difficult. Road salt is having little effect as the road temperatures are too cold to allow salt to melt snow and ice buildup, in most cases.

"When it gets really cold like this and it's in the teens and single digits sometimes we switch to a pretreated salt using some chemicals, or even when it's this cold, that doesn't even work as well," Says Lori Maher from the Department of Transportation. "So then we just resort to using a thin layer of road salt and continuing to plow and clear away any accumulation."

Public works managers say it's simply too cold for the salt to work.

It does provide some traction for drivers, but it can't melt snow and ice alone.

Henrietta Public Works drivers are still loading up with salt and plowing snow away from roadways.

In the meantime, they're asking drivers to be smart on the roads, especially in trouble spots.

"You definitely want to watch for the bridges. The bridges tend to freeze quicker than the highways. If you're ever over and overpass, be careful there," Maher said.

According to Craig Echkert, Commissioner at Henrietta Public Works, the hills are trouble spots as well.

"The hills take the most of the wind, and the breeze right now. So they are more prone to drifting or drifting snow, and they stay colder," Eckert said.

This winter has greatly drained salt supplies in Henrietta.

Public Works has used 3,000 tons of salt in two months. 5,700 tons were used all of last year.

Plow drivers asked us to pass along one more message-don't try to pass the slow moving plows.

"Hopefully people are just careful. Remember, our plow trucks only travel about 35 miles per hour," Maher said.

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Washington Times