Anoka County is responsible for plowing 1600 lane miles of roadway. This includes driving lanes, right and left turn lanes, by-pass lanes and wide shoulders. During a snow or freezing rain event, Anoka County will run two 12-hour shifts to achieve 24-hour-per-day coverage until the storm is over. The County has 27 plow trucks at its disposal, but due to scheduled maintenance and repairs we normally use 23 plow trucks on the day shift and 15 on the night shift. If the storm is bad enough the County has up to 45 possible operators at its disposal.
Anoka County uses four plowing techniques to prevent ice formation and enhance roadway surface:
Anti-icing prevents the formation of frost and bonding between snow and ice and pavement.
Anti-icing chemicals are primarily liquids applied before or early in a snowfall
Pre-treating salt with a liquid chemical such as calcium chloride brine greatly increases its effectiveness below 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pre-wetting adds brine or other commercial chemical solution to the salt at the spinner - this causes the mixture to stick to the road instead of blowing off to the shoulder.
De-icing uses chemical or mechanical means to break the bond that has formed between ice and the pavement.