Grant will help Edina use less salt during winter weather events

December 04, 2018 10:26 PM

The city of Edina is trying something new this winter when it comes to clearing the roads of snow and ice, and it involves using significantly less salt in certain parts of town.

Tuesday night, the city approved a motion for a cost-share grant, hoping new blades on plows will make all the difference. 


"Our whole entire goal is to try and decrease the amount of salt we use in the environment and still maintain a safe travel roadway," said Brian Olson, Edina Public Works Director. 

Brian Olson is the Edina public works director. He says advanced technology on the plows could help them do this.

"The Joma Blade System is a system that is quieter, scrapes better, and lasts longer," Olson said. 

The problem is this blade is much more expensive than what they use now. But there's an organization willing to help. 

"We have to do it piece by piece," said Randy Anhorn, administrator with the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District. 

That organization is trying to reduce chloride levels in the watershed by 62 percent to meet state requirements, and the less salt on the roads means cleaner waterways.

"The creek has chlorides that are above water quality standards," Anhorn said. 

That's why they're offering to share the cost with the city to buy the new equipment. In exchange, a cleaner environment.

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"It makes the aquatic vegetation happy, and aquatic animals happy, fish happy," Anhorn said.  

The plows will be deployed in certain parts of the city including the southeast part of town and the Countryside neighborhood. 

"We wanted to test them in a residential setting that has a lot of curves and hills and that kind of thing to see how they perform in those areas," Olson said. 

City officials say they're still going to be doing some salting, but not as much in these parts of town. 

"It's all about smart salting," Anhorn said.  

The new blades will be on four plows, with one extra as a backup. They hope to start using them in January and test this over a few years to compare how effective not using as much salt is. 

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Brett Hoffland

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