MADISON: Crews preparing for snow this weekend - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

MADISON: Crews preparing for snow this weekend

MADISON (WKOW) -- The first snowfall of the season is always a big challenge for county highway departments. This weekend is set to be quite the challenge for them. A mix of snow, sleet, rain you name it.

Despite having a slow season so far, they haven't forgotten how handle the streets.

"Everybody says the first snow storm of the year even if it's small people have to remember to drive cautiously," George Dreckmann of the City of Madison explains.

Friday afternoon city snowplows in Madison started laying salt brine. A mixture of 23% salt and 77% water in order to prep the roads in case of a freeze.

"Given the nature of weather you just don't know. So we've prepared for anywhere up to three inches," Dreckmann says.

Good news is thanks to a slow March and April and an even slower November, there's plenty of salt to go around.

"We probably have 3,000 or so tons left from last year of county salt. It's about $50 a ton so that's $150,000 we didn't have to spend this year," Ben Coopman says.

Ben Coopman from the Rock County Highway Department says they've saved thousands during the slow Winter. Saving money on sand, salt, and wages, even giving them extra time to focus on potholes and patching. Those tasks were both put on standby as workers finally got to focus on Winter.

"Our guys know Winter is here now," Coopman says. "This is the first event and they're all pretty well in tune with knowing that there's a chance they might have to come to work the next couple days."

Highway supervisors are hoping the salt brine will be enough to keep the roadways clear. It all depends on how cold it gets. If it's only rain and sleet they might be okay with just the brine, but if there's some snow they'll probably have to send some extra crews out.

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