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Hartselle Enquirer

Officials say city handled ice, frigid temps well

By Rebekah Martin

Hartselle Enquirer

Last week’s frigid temperatures created travel issues all across the state, and Hartselle’s roads and intersections were not immune. Prior to Jan. 16’s morning snow, the City of Hartselle had its sand trucks ready to prepare the roads for possible icy conditions. Public Works director Tommy Halbrooks said he believes the icy conditions were made less hazardous because of that preparedness. “I think it was handled very well. We were previously prepared for the actual snow event and had all of our sand on hand and our trucks were prepared,” Halbrooks said. “We actually faired very well.”

Instead of sand, many municipalities use a salt spray to prepare the roads for similar conditions. Halbrooks said Hartselle’s decision to use sand instead comes down to the resources available.

“If you were going to do a pretreatment (of the roads), that would be a salt-type spray,” Halbrooks said. “Hartselle does not choose to do the salting of the roads …

We don’t have the equipment in place to do the spraying of the roads ahead of time, but we have two of the sanding beds that we use to sand after the event.”

Halbrooks said salt sprays have also been known to have negative effects on cars and infrastructure. “If you do some national research, you’ll find out that salt has an effect on a lot of things,” Halbrooks said. “Not only does it have an effect on the cars – rusting cars – but it also it has an effect on the actual pavement.

“Sand seems to be less harsh on our infrastructure, and the city made the decision to go with the sand product, and it has worked very well,” he added.