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Winter Maintenance

Salt Domes for Winter Maintenance at the leamington depot


Essex County Roads Maintenance
Maintenance Division
1941 Road 4 East. RR2
Kingsville, Ontario
N9Y 2E5
T. 519-326-8691
Email Essex County Roads Maintenance

As we begin another Essex County winter, motorists need to take extra precautions and adjust their driving habits to cold, icy, and snowy conditions. Winter travel calls for extra care even under normal weather conditions. Snow and ice on roadways can reduce tire traction, while vehicle exhaust and ice fog can reduce visibility.

The County of Essex's Highways Division (ECH) is responsible for 720 centreline kilometres of road network that provides a safe and efficient route of transportation for road users within the region. Winter maintenance services are provided from four (4) active depots, which are spread out across the County, and covers 18 plow routes. ECH's Winter Control Program is designed to achieve the following goals:

  1. To meet or exceed where possible the Minimum Maintenance Standards for Municipal Highways;
  2. To reduce negative environmental impacts resulting from Winter Control Operations; and
  3. To reduce or control expenditures through innovative and proactive management strategies.

Program Overview

ECH has a two-step approach towards preventing slippery conditions. These techniques include pre-wetting of the salt prior to being applied to the road and anti-icing, which involves direct application of the brine to the dry road. Our Winter Maintenance Program also includes:

  • A Global Positioning System (GPS) to track salt application to monitor use for both safety and environmental protection;
  • Computerized controls on vehicles to precisely spread salt on roads;
  • The use of salt-brine solution on the roads before snowfalls to prevent snow and ice from binding to the pavement, and;
  • Weather stations to update weather and pavement conditions.

Fast Facts

  • 1503 lane kilometres of road
  • 71 kilometres of paved shoulders
  • 84 bridges;
  • 127 large capacity drainage structures
  • 4 Active Depots
  • 25,000 tonnes of salt storage capacity
  • 18 salt/plow routes
  • Day and night crews
  • Continuous weather monitoring
  • Road patrols
  • Average annual salt usage - 18,000 tonnes
  • Average annual program expenditures - $2,600,000
  • Typically respond to 70 winter "events" per season

Learn More

The Salt Management Plan (SMP) for ECH sets out a policy and procedural framework for ensuring continuous improvement of effective delivery of winter maintenance services and the management of road salt used in winter maintenance operations.

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) has provided Winter Driving Brochures and for more safe driving tips, visit the MTO website, where you can get up-to-date information on road conditions, construction projects, and traffic conditions on major highways through MTO cameras, through the Ministry's Traveler Information Service, or by calling Ontario 511.