Snowfighters to weather winter storms in Salt Lake City

The North American Snow Conference heads to the deicing capital to exchange and discuss the latest snow- and ice-fighting techniques

David Banasiak / December 28, 2000

The blizzards that raged across the country this winter have emphasized
how snow and ice can bring a city to a stand still in a matter of hours
(see The Blizzard of '96, 3/96). Even a few inches of snow has the ability
to disrupt travel if left unattended. That is why it is so important to
have a manageable plan, trained personnel and proper equipment and technology.

Now that winter has ended and the spring thaws have begun, the American
Public Works Association's (APWA) 1996 North American Snow Conference is
a good opportunity to gather information on improving your snow removal
plan and thereby help you to meet the challenges presented by severe winter
weather conditions. This year, the conference will be held in Salt Lake
City, Utah, at the Salt Lake Hilton April 14-17.

Tickets may also be purchased for one of three technical tours. Visit the
North American Salt Co. and receive an up-close look at salt harvesting
and magnesium chloride retrieval facilities. The Wasatch Mountains tour
provides a glimpse of the operations and equipment necessary for avalanche
control. The final tour offers a view of the snow fighting maintenance operations
and facilities of various agencies in the Salt Lake Valley.

The Utah chapter of the APWA welcomes attendees at an opening reception
in the exhibit area at 5:30 p.m. April 14. This is a chance to visit the
more than 60 exhibits and talk with representatives from the leading snow
and ice control companies in North America.

Salt Lake City's Mayor Deedee Corradini will offer welcoming remarks at
the opening general session, Monday, April 15, at 8:30 a.m. This will be
followed by Tom Warne, executive director, UDOT, who will discuss customer
service in snow removal.

Concurrent sessions will run through the morning covering such topics as
the technological developments in weather forecasting, the Road Weather
Information System and winter maintenance strategies.

After lunch, Bowen F. White, M.D., will conduct a general session on the
managing of stress. The day's roundtable discussions will involve many topics
including snow insurance, safe winter driving methods, and the latest in
winter maintenance techniques.

A concurrent session featuring a risk management and liability panel will
be conducted during the roundtables. Each panel member will present a different
aspect of this vast topic as the importance of the legal risks are discussed.

Tuesday, April 16, begins with a general session deicing panel on the effectiveness
of calcium magnesium acetate, salt and other alternatives in deicing and
anti-icing. The environmental benefits and drawbacks of each also will be

The day's concurrent session will continue to provide important snowfighting
information. Anti-icing benefits and the impact it plays upon spreader design
will be examined. Other topics include innovations in snow removal and disposal,
the effect of salting operations on water quality and the environmental
impact of winter maintenance activities. The afternoon's general session
will discuss media relations.

Wednesday, April 17, will feature the final concurrent sessions as well
as the tours. The sessions will cover the benefits of winter maintenance,
and meeting the public's demands for winter maintenance service.

A session on infra-red communications capabilities and how they apply to
spreader vehicles also will be offered. This session will cover a variety
of technological advancements such as remote programming of a fleet of spreaders
and how to further evolve and communicate through Global Positioning Systems.

Ed Link, director of the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering
Laboratory will conduct a session on the latest techniques in snowfighting,
many of which are being utilized now in places like Bosnia and the North

The closing session will take a look at the 2002 Winter Olympics which will
be located in Salt Lake City. The presentation will cover preparation for
the massive event from a public works aspect.

For more information on the North American Snow Conference, contact the
APWA, 106 W. 11th Street, Suite 1800, Kansas City, Mo., 64105-1806, or call
(816) 472-6100, fax (816) 472-1610.

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