SPEAKING OF DE ICE…

Salt brine laid down in a wavy pattern on Brown Place, near Branch Avenue, above, and bending around the corner at Hudson Avenue and Harding Road, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In anticipation of the season’s second “snow event,” Red Bank is trying out a new road de-icer, which has left the town’s streets marked with what appears to be parallel chalk lines.

“I’m exposing my new, artistic side,” quips public works department director Gary Watson.

Like Monmouth County and other nearby towns, the borough is considering a switch from crystal salt to a salt brine, a salt-and-water mix that is laid down as a liquid, dries, and is good for stalling ice formation for 24 to 48 hours, Watson told redbankgreen Friday.

The brine was applied to 75 percent of the borough’s streets Thursday, leaving distinctive trails on the asphalt. The rest of the town is expected to be treated before Friday night’s possible snowfall, Watson said.

The stuff is cheap: every street in town can be treated with a tank and a half of salt brine for about $200, Watson said. By contrast, treating only the primary thoroughfares in anticipation of last Monday’s light snow cost about $400 for five tons of crystal salt, he said.

“A lot of streets don’t get touched with the salt,” he said. And those that do tend to have it pushed aside by car wheels.

“We realized this is more efficient and cost effective,” Watson said.