Ice slicer currently being tested by Helena Streets Division

HELENA- The Helena City Streets Division will be implementing several pilot projects for snow control over the winter season.

The pilot projects include plowing to the curb, flexible shift starts, reviewing snow routes and using Ice Slicer.

Ice Slicer is a street salt product that is less corrosive, less harmful to vegetation, and more effective over time than traditional rock salt.

The city will purchase 35 tons of Ice Slicer to be used on Last Chance Gulch, the hills on Broadway Street, 6th Avenue, 11th Avenue and Lawrence Street.

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The product is used currently by the street crews in Missoula and Cheyenne, WY.

Ice Slicer is more expensive to purchase by the ton than the currently used rock chips and cannot be recycled like the rock chips are each year.

The Streets division will also be distributing orange door hangers asking people to not park on the street during, and for 24 hours after, a snow storm so that they can clear snow to the curb. The streets for curb to curb plowing will be 6th Ave., Broadway Ave. and 11th Ave. from Davis to Montana Ave.

The Streets Division and City Engineering will work together to determine which streets meet the criteria for a Snow Route. Factors will include traffic counts, schools, bus routes and emergency service needs.

Helena Public Works Director Randall Camp says that it’s been over a decade since the snow routes have been revised and it’s time to take a look at snow removal in the city.

“We’re always open to learn and try new things and see if we can make our game better,” says Camp, “It was a good time to pilot it and see if we were missing something.”

The City also plans to create a call log that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot projects and provided to the City Commission for their review.

For more information about the pilot project and to contact the City Streets Division visit http://www.helenamt.gov/pw.html

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