How have changes in Rapid City’s snow removal process improved this year?

Rapid City updated their snow removal process for this year.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – If you’ve noticed an improvement in how effectively Rapid City has been able to clear snow, it’s not just your imagination. Rapid City updated its snow removal process for this year.

What changed?

This year, the city has added a salt brine pretreatment to its arsenal of snow and ice removal techniques.

What is salt brine?

The salt brine is a 23% salt solution that can be applied up to three days before a potential snowstorm to help melt snow and ice that accumulates on the road.

“We don’t try to get any further ahead than three days, and that helps to cut from the bottom up,” said Dale Pfeifle, Superintendent of the Rapid City Street Department.

The water evaporates from the mixture after it is applied, leaving behind a coating of salt that lowers the freezing point of snow and ice.

Here are some photos of the snow plow fleet:

The use of salt brine is preferred over solid salt because it sticks around for longer and it is able to cover the road more evenly.

“It’s a lot faster. It’s a lot more efficient, it’s cheaper, it’s a lot easier on our freshwater fishery, it’s just a win-win for the whole community,” said Pfeifle.

Where will the salt brine be used?

Only emergency routes, heavily traveled roads, and hilly areas will be pretreated.

What does the normal snow removal process look like?

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RC Snow Removal Map

As the snow starts to fall, plows are out, removing snow from emergency routes and heavily traveled roads.

On multi-lane roads, the snow is cleared from the center lane first, gradually working towards the shoulder.

After the snow has stopped falling, the plows will then work on clearing the larger residential roads.

Drive safe

Although the snow removal process has been improved, you should remember to drive the road conditions and not the speed limit.

You also shouldn’t drive beyond your ability.

Everyone has different vehicles, tires, and experience, so, most importantly, be considerate of other drivers. No one wants to get into an accident.

Categories: Local News