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Edina Public Works Testing Snow Plow Blades Aimed At Reducing Salt Usage

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Keeping his driveway clean has been a constant battle for Byron Dale this month.

"We've had snow this high and higher before, but earlier," said Dale.

He's lived in the Southdale neighborhood of Edina for 20 years. Throughout this flake-filled February, he didn't realize the city was using out a new plow blade this winter right outside his front door.

"This street is about as good a street as I've ever lived as far as keeping it clean. They just keep it clean all the time," said Dale.

The Joma blade is segmented, unlike the traditional solid plate. It promises a cleaner and more effective cut through ice and snow.

"If they are able to cut closer to the pavement, then we are able to use less salt,"' said Public Works Director Brian Olson.

Joma Snow Plow Blades
(credit: CBS)

Less chemicals on the road means less run-off in the water. That's why the city was able to get the blades with a $33,000 grant from the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District. They are about four-times more expensive than traditional ones, but the expense is worth it for Olson.

"It's in everybody's best interest to try to protect our water bodies throughout the state of Minnesota," said Olson.

There's also another unexpected benefit.

"It is a quieter ride, which residents should reap the benefit of," said Olson.

Throughout the snowy season, plows with the new blades are being tested in four different neighborhoods. Right now, it's too early to tell whether these blades have had a big impact on the amount of salt and sand used in Edina this winter.

If they prove to be effective, the city will outfit their entire fleet with them.


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