Engineer’s Office is prepared for the snow

February 15th, 2007    Author: Michael Bradley    Filed Under: News

The six inches of snow that mother nature dropped on the county last week was no match for the Clermont County Engineer’s Office.

“Preparedness is everything,” said the county engineer’s operations deputy Rob Alfieri. “And I want county residents to know that we are prepared for any snow or ice emergency event.”

The county engineer’s office has three salt storage sites in Batavia, Miami Township, and Washington Township. Villages and townships maintain their own sites, but the county does share with any county areas that may run short on supplies.

Last week’s snow event, Feb. 6 and 7, cost the county close to $70,000. Included in this cost was the 50,000 pounds of salt that drivers dropped on the roads, fuel and other miscellaneous maintenance expenses, and the labor involved.

At the Batavia salt storage site, snow plow drivers load salt into trucks in preparation for the projected freezing rain and ice storm due to arrive the night of Feb.12 and 13.
During what Alfieri calls a snow "event," there are 22 county truck and snow plow drivers who work in three 12-hour shifts; the severity of each storm determines the labor cost to the county.

"We used approximately 800 labor hours last week," said Alfieri. "This cost the county $14,000 in labor and $3,400 in overtime. And a total of $50,000 worth of salt was dropped over those two days last week."

The eight emergency snow events that have occurred thus far during the 2006-2007 winter season has cost the county $184,752; this total cost is significantly less than previous years.

The price tag of any snow event is primarily determined by the amount of ice and snow that falls, Alfieri said.

"Last week we had powdery snow that was very easy to work with. The first thing that we do during an event is pre-treat the roads by laying a good layer of salt down beforehand. This prevented the snow from forming into what we call a hard pack (when the snow sticks to the pavement)."

Another thing that the engineer's office does in preparation is to hit the entire county all at the same time. Alfieri designed the county's emergency road crew system to simultaneously coordinate the efforts of all drivers because "every road in the county is considered a primary road."

Clermont County is responsible for treating and clearing more than 400 miles of county roads. Most of these are secondary and connector roads that can be salted and treated in less than two hours time. The Ohio Department of Transportation is responsible for all state routes and each township is responsible for all of their own subdivision roads.

Rob Alfieri has worked for the engineer's office the last 13 years and has been the deputy of operations for the last three years.

"We stay on top of all adverse weather conditions," Alfieri said. "My job is to constantly monitor the weather and we all take our job very seriously. Our drivers, our foreman, and everyone who works for the engineer's office is committed to treating and clearing county roads as quickly as possible. We are always on the job to keep our roads safe."
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