Ocean County Press Release

OCEAN COUNTY road crews are gearing up to battle the approaching mid-winter snow storm, which could bring the season's heaviest snow to parts of our region.

"Right now the forecast is calling from anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of snow," said Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little. "But even a small change in the track of the storm could mean even heavier snow for portions of the county."

Little said the Ocean County Road Department and Bridge Departments are monitoring the storm and will be ready for whatever snow falls.

"Our fleet of more than 200 trucks and other vehicles and about 175 employees from the Road and Bridge departments are ready to go," said Little, who is liaison to both departments.

Once plowing begins, the first of the county roads to be cleared are the 500 series, which includes such main roads as Hooper Avenue in Toms River Township, and Route 571, which travels through Toms River Township to Jackson Township. In Southern Ocean County, those roads include Route 539.

"We start with these main roads and work our way to the secondary roads," Little said.

Typically, preparations for the storm would begin with spraying brine - a mixture of salt and water – on the roads. However, because rain is expected to precede the snow, brine will not be effective, said county Road Supervisor J. Thomas Curcio.

"The rain would wash the brine away before it could do any good," Curcio said. "We will be spreading salt on the roads during the storm. We've replenished our salt stocks following the January storm."

Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari said the Road Department is also responsible for clearing all the county parking lots including the vocational-technical centers, the resource centers, Transportation Department, and libraries.

The Road Department is assisted by other county departments including Solid Waste Management and Parks and Recreation.

"It's a cooperative effort on the part of the County to make certain our residents are safe," Vicari said. "The cooperation makes for a much smoother and efficient operation."

With the worst of the storm expected to hit early Thursday, Vicari asked drivers to be extra careful.

"It could be a very dangerous morning commute," Vicari said. "I urge everyone to use caution on the potentially icy roads."

Vicari also reminded residents to please clear their vehicles of snow and ice before venturing out on Thursday.

Large chunks of ice falling from cars and trucks pose a threat to other motorists and pedestrians alike, he said.

"State law requires that drivers clear their vehicles of snow and ice before they take to the road," Vicari said. "Please be courteous to others and take the time to thoroughly clean your car or truck."

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