Photo: Middletown Brine Truck

MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The township is expanding its cache of snow removal equipment this winter by repurposing federal surplus vehicles.

The Public Works Department is converting to two tractor trucks into salt brine and rock salt spreaders. Middletown is saving about $370,000 on the project since the township only needs to buy the salt distribution systems. The trucks, which are 2008 Freightliners in virtually new condition with extremely low mileage, were acquired at no cost to the township from the state Police Federal Surplus Property Unit, said Township Administrator Anthony P. Mercantante.

 

These new additions will increase the total number of vehicles dedicated to pre-treating winter roads to three, added Mercantante. He said one of the converted vehicles was put into service this week. The other retrofitted vehicle will be ready for service by the end of the month.

“Anything that will make residents lives easier is worth trying to do,” said Mayor Stephanie Murray. “The additional vehicles will improve the township’s already impressive response to snow storms.”

The pre-application of salt brine is a key component of Middletown’s snow removal program because it helps prevent snow and ice from bonding to the roads, said Public Works Director Ted Maloney. He noted it’s also less expensive than rock salt and is a time saver because it can applied up to two days in advance of a snow storm.

Middletown maintains about 600 lane miles of road. The township uses approximately 75 trucks and about 100 personnel in its snow removal program. In addition a new computerized salt brine manufacturing system was installed and activated in November.