Getting salt on winter roads is one of the best ways to prevent accidents and create safer travel. During a snow event, it is critical for the DOT, state, city, county and private entities to get roads plowed and salted as quickly as possible.
Bulk road salt and spreading equipment are major investments for public works departments. When the wages for plow operators are added to the equation, this responsibility becomes a large part of a municipal budget. Federal, state, county and local jurisdictions must be vigilant to save money and time on winter snow removal.
Making a fabric salt storage building plan will protect your road salt investment and add efficiencies when you need it most.
Protect Your Investment with a Salt Storage Building
Wind and moisture can deteriorate the quality of stored salt — a danger proper storage buildings prevent. Salt and chemicals that are stored in a dry, enclosed environment are not vulnerable to run-off or dilution, even during severe storms.
A permanent road salt storage building will also comply with environmental regulations requiring storage systems that prevent leaching and groundwater pollution. “We are definitely seeing an increase in legislation that protects groundwater from run-off,” said Matt Van Scoyoc, Building and Project Design Consultant for Legacy Building Solutions.
Advantages of Salt Storage Buildings
Planning ahead is another advantage that can lead to public works savings. With a storage system already in place, it is possible to take advantage of off-season rates or bulk discounts when buying salt — saving taxpayer dollars that are better allocated to other uses.
Unlike tarps covering salt piles, salt storage buildings don’t require additional labor. Employees are able to focus on the task at hand rather than moving and replacing a tarp during heavy winds.
Salt Storage Building Plans for Greater Efficiency
Salt storage buildings must be custom designed for maximum efficiency. Factors to consider include:
- Required capacity
- Loading method
- Number of vehicles in use
Custom designing a building to your capacity ensures there is adequate space for salt piles, equipment, operations and pedestrians — without wasted square footage. An experienced building designer will engineer a building around tonnage requirements.
“There’s more to building design than just the size needed,” said Van Scoyoc. “The best salt storage buildings will also be designed with clearance for conveyors and tipping trucks, separate entrances for pedestrians and equipment, and enough lighting to address safety concerns.”
Custom building design eliminates common safety concerns, including collision with other vehicles or pedestrians. Clear drive paths and adequate space further reduce the risk of damage to the facility walls or doors.
Fabric buildings for salt storage also keep drivers and heavy equipment under cover — reducing the likelihood of accidents, injury and costly workers’ compensation claims. Even minor safety incidents mean lost time during critical snow events.
“Drivers appreciate a dry space to load,” said Van Scoyoc. “They are working long hours, and spending a few minutes in a dry area is refreshing.”
Fabric Buildings for Corrosion Protection
Of course, salt is highly corrosive. Corrosion can damage steel panels and fasteners within just a few years, especially if the building is exposed to moisture.
Architectural fabric has non-corrosive properties and is designed to outlast steel buildings in corrosive environments. ExxoTec™ PVC fabric will last up to 30 years, even when exposed to salt and precipitation.
“Legacy buildings are really ideal for salt storage,” said Van Scoyoc. “The fabric, the rigid frame and concrete walls are all optimized for daily use by municipal and commercial snow removal operations. And of course, the natural light inside a fabric building allows for ongoing energy cost savings.”
Government and private road crews are always looking for ways to add efficiencies to maintenance operations. A fabric salt storage building is one way to simplify the business of making roads safe for travel.