With 2018’s first major winter storm approaching, Ocean County is ready to handle any snow forecast to fall over the next 2 days.
“Our trucks will be manned and ready to go,” said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. “We’ve been watching the approach of the storm closely and hopefully we’ll get less snow than predicted, but no matter what falls we will be ready.”
As of late Wednesday morning, forecasters were predicting 4-6 inches to fall in most of the county, with an outside chance of up to 13 inches piling up before the coastal storm takes aim at New England.
The Ocean County Road Department and Bridge Departments will mobilize a fleet of more than 200 trucks and other vehicles to salt and clear roads.
Typically, the road crews would prep for a storm by spreading a mixture of road salt and water along the county’s roads, but Little said the roadways are already well covered with brine from the season’s earlier snowfalls.
If enough snow falls to warrant plowing, 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,” said County Road Supervisor J. Thomas Curcio.
All told, the Road Department is responsible for clearing more than 1,600 lane miles of county roads, the largest county road network in the state.
The Road Department also clears all of the county parking lots including the vocational-technical centers, the resource centers, Transportation Department, and libraries.
Other county departments, including Solid Waste Management, Buildings and Grounds and Parks and Recreation, assist in the snow removal effort.
“It’s a cooperative effort on the part of the County to make certain our residents are safe,” Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari said.
Vicari added that Buildings and Grounds is responsible for clearing snow and ice from the County’s 135 government buildings.
“Our citizens expect to be able to access County government no matter what the weather,” Vicari said. “We do our best to clear snow and ice quickly in order to allow the public access to our buildings.”