Hubbard County to pretreat certain roads with brine

With the helpf of a Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation grant, the Hubbard County Highway Department is retrofitting a truck in order to spray brine on its roads and, in turn, reduce the amount of liquid calcium chloride.

The Hubbard County Highway Department is retrofitting a truck in order to spray brine on its roads and, in turn, reduce the amount of liquid calcium chloride.

At their March 16 meeting, county commissioners approved a $16,370 quote from Bert's Truck Equipment of Moorhead for brining equipment.

Public Works Coordinator Jed Nordin said Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) worked with Cass County to secure a grant to reduce the use of calcium chlorides in the Leech Lake River Watershed.

“One of those methods of reducing that is through the use of brine,” he explained. “That’s something we’ve been talking about with the highway department for quite some time, but we weren’t set up for it, so we don’t have the right equipment on the trucks. We don’t have brine mixing equipment.”

Nordin said SWCD set aside $15,000 that Hubbard County can use to retrofit a truck. Brine is a saltwater mixture. The county’s truck will pre-wet the sand material as it drops out of the truck, he explained.


“What we like about it is it gets wet and it will go down on an icy or snowy road, it’s going to stick. It can actually work at lower temperatures than salt-sand mixture,” Nordin said.

“There’s less chloride content in it?” asked board chair David De La Hunt.

Yes, Nordin replied, but he didn’t know exact percentages.

“Some other counties, and of course the state, have had pretty good results,” he continued. “Overall, it might be a little expensive to get into, so we’ll have to make sure it fits our area.”

Cass County started mixing their own brine, Nordin said, so Hubbard County can purchase brine from them or the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Nordin said his department is also looking at purchasing a special liquid calcium chloride product “that has a 50 percent less leaching quality to it, which means it’s going to stay on your road that much longer. There’s less danger of that leaching into area lakes.”

A test section was done with this product last year. Nordin said he put it out as an alternate bid to the regular liquid calcium chloride bid. He’ll bring the quotes back to the April board meeting.

  • Approved the purchase of 2022 Mack AF Granite tandem snow plow truck for $123,584 from RDO Truck Centers in Fargo and snow plow equipment for $106,265 from Bert’s Truck Equipment in Moorhead. Nordin said it was in their budget.

  • Approved the purchase of a 2,035-gallon water tank for $2,696 from Plastic Water Tanks of Edgecliff Village, Texas. Nordin said it will fit in the box of a truck.

  • Letting dates were set for the following projects: bridge replacement on CSAH 16 at 2 p.m. March 29; CSAH 3 reclamation and paving at 2 p.m. April 6; Aggregate surfacing for the northern half of the county at 11 a.m. April 5, and liquid calcium chloride at 10 a.m. April 5.

  • Approved a 2021 service agreement with Always There Staffing, Inc. of Bemidji to recruit, screen, interview, hire and assign aquatic invasive species watercraft inspectors. Hourly rates are $20.10 to $20.77 for Level 1 inspectors, $21.44 - $22.11 for Level 2 inspectors and $23.45 for the lead inspector.

  • Approved a 2021 service agreement with Al Winterberger of Osage to inspect new and replacement installations of subsurface sewage treatment systems.

  • Approved timber appraisals for the spring timber auction. There are 13 tracts, totalling 519 acres and roughly 10,000 cords, according to County Land Commissioner Chip Lohmeier.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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