City of Topeka tries out new snow prep routine

As people in Northeast Kansas prepare for the storm expected Friday night, Topeka crews are way ahead of you. They’re trying out a new method of treating roads for storms.

“We’re trying to get out early and pre-treat in the residential areas first,” says Superintendent of Transportation Operations, Ron Raines.

Raines says crews typically pre-treat primary roads, but not neighborhoods.

“We hope that it’ll improve accessibility in the residential areas and maybe even alleviate some of the problems that manifest when we have to wait 30 hours before we go out and do anything,” Raines says.

Treating roads before flakes start to fall should create a brine on the pavement keeping it slushy and wet.

“It might be messy, but folks will be able to safely get around,” says Raines.

Dumping 250 pounds per lane mile, Raines expects to go through 800 tons of treatment within 24 hours.

“We anticipate certain roadways needing to be treated multiple times,” he says.

In order to try out this method, Raines needed the stars to align.

“The timing of this event allows us to do it, our manpower and stuff situated so today that we could do a test to see if we could improve our services levels,” he says.

If it works, it could be used more often.

“I guarantee you we’ll consider it in all of our future operations,” Raines says.

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