Snow and ice control on Pierce County roads requires a balanced use of salt, sand and plowing.
Salt and Sand
We continuously evaluate new products, equipment, and techniques for combating snow and ice. Salt (sodium chloride, ordinary table salt) is a very safe and effective snow and ice fighting tool when used properly. When used at high concentrations for long periods of time, chloride compounds are potentially harmful to the environment and are corrosive to metals. But typical Pierce County winters aren't harsh enough to require salt use at the high volumes that cause significant environmental harm or corrosion.
Snow Plow Blades
We use high-density rubber plow blades, which work well for snow removal and are affordable. Steel bit plows are used in other parts of the country, which are also effective at removing snow and ice but cause extensive and costly damage to roads, especially to traffic markings and road striping.
Snow-belt states often recess traffic markers to avoid damage from plows. This requires grinding down the pavement. Pierce County does not receive enough snow and ice to require this additional expense.