SHA Geared Up for Snow Removal, Ditches Steel Plows for Rubber and Ceramic Blades

Herald-Mail Media article (2018-10-31) reported that the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is ready to tackle snow and ice on State-maintained roads. The article stated that SHA has budgeted $71 million for ice and snow removal from 17,950 miles of roads. From the article:

“No matter what happens, we’re going to be ready for this,” said [SHA spokesman Charlie] Gischlar, adding that Garrett County already has recorded 2 to 3 inches of snow this fall.

Last year, SHA spent about $4.2 million on winter maintenance in Washington County. That expense included the removal of 1.85 inches of ice and 32.75 inches of snow.

The article also discussed the tools SHA uses to remove ice and snow, including rock salt, salt-brine, and magnesium chloride. SHA also sometimes applies sand or crushed stone to roads to increase vehicle traction during a storm (this primarily done in Western Maryland). Finally, the article noted that SHA trucks are discontinuing the use of steel bladed plows in favor rubber plows with ceramic inserts. The article noted that the rubber plows remove more snow than the older steel plows, reducing the amount of rock salt or other de-icing agent that is needed to treat the roads.