Moline completes construction of second salt dome


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Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2013, 11:33 pm
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By Dawn Neuses dneuses@qconline.com
MOLINE — Construction is complete on the city's second salt dome, and crews began filling it with salt this week.

Bulk Storage Inc. built the2,400-ton salt dome on the southeast corner of 39th Street and 48th Avenue for $259,082.

Doug House, Moline's municipal services general manager, said the new dome will result in several operational efficiencies."The more we can store, the more savings the city will have each year."

The cost of salt increases when it gets cold. Mr. House said that before the first snow in December, salt was selling for $62 per ton. "After the first major storm, it went up to $90 a ton."

The salt dome at the public works garage holds 3,750 tons of salt, but the city needs about 5,500 tons to get through a winter, so with two domes, the city will be able to store more than 6,000 tons, Mr. House said.

He estimates the city will save $19,000 per year because it now will be able to buy — and store — salt before the price increases each winter.

The city also will save in labor and equipment costs, Mr. House said. Before the new dome, snow-route drivers who plowed south of Avenue of the Cities had to drive up to 10 miles back to the public works department for more salt, sometimes multiple times during a storm.

He said that extra driving equaled an approximate loss of 10.9 man-hours per eight-hour shift, or about $37,000 in lost travel time during an average winter.

The new dome on the south side of town will cut driving time for some drivers by almost 15 minutes per trip.

In computing the new dome's payback, Mr. House did not figure in the estimated labor and equipment savings, because both will vary depending on the severity of the winter.

He said he conservatively estimated it would take 14 years to recoup the cost of the dome by buying salt in large quantities.


















 




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