Sparks crews work to prepare roads for incoming storms

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) In Sparks there are six trucks that are typically given the assignment of preparing the roads ahead of winter storms.

“It is the only pretreatment for a storm. Everything else is reactive,” says Mark Andersen, the City’s Assistant Public Works Manager.

Andersen oversees the operation of spraying brine – a mixture of salt and water – on the major roads throughout the city.

“It keeps the snow and ice from bonding to the road surface and helps from the bottom up.”

Andersen says the city covers about 300 lane miles per storm, and that process takes about two days.

“We try to start with the main streets and the school zones,” said Nicolas Fernandez of the street department.

Fernandez is one of the people responsible for applying the brine to the roads, and then after it snows, to plow the streets. Having done the job himself, he knows how important it is.

“With the sun coming up and the traffic, it helps, but without the brine down on the road it would ice up, and would be a nightmare,” he said.

The trucks fill up on brine at the city’s facility off loop Road near Northern Nevada Medical Center, which they have been doing for more than 5 years

Andersen says he noticed a change with the brine on the roads – starting the first time they ever applied it.