Imagine in mid-winter the municipality you manage runs out of road salt and you are at the mercy of supplier stock levels and peak season market prices. For Julius Hansen, director of public works for the Village of Glen Ellyn, running out of salt is not an option. The Village needs at least 2,000 tons a year to keep their streets and sidewalks safe. Paying for extra salt in the middle of winter can be costly, not to mention the costs associated with building a new dome to house the additional salt inventory.
The Village recently acquired the old DuPage County Forest Preserve fleet maintenance building for their new salt storage headquarters. This new facility can hold nearly twice as much inventory as their old building. After working with Ozinga last year on a project using jumbo concrete blocks, the Village reached out again when they needed to build interior structural support to hold their additional salt supply.
Consulting engineers didn’t want the older existing walls to bear the weight of the salt piles which could result in a structural failure. Pouring a support wall from scratch would’ve added additional costs.
Hansen worked with Ozinga to figure out which blocks would work best for his project and how many he would need to create the perfect interior wall. Village workers created the design themselves, accounting for the indoor height restriction, and had everything finished in a little over a week.
The Village used an assortment of 200 4x4x4, 2x4x4, and 2x2x6 concrete blocks to create a custom barrier that cost less than designing and pouring a new wall. By revamping the building and outfitting it to their needs, the Village saved money and created a solution that was much easier than building a costly dome.
“Having the foresight to predict potential problems and stay fiscally responsible with the taxpayers’ dollars are crucial,” said Hansen. “By repurposing both leftover concrete and building space, we settled on a green, cost-effective solution.”
When Glen Ellyn streets are covered once again in ice and snow this winter, the Village will be ready with all the salt they need. “We have a winter emergency supply now, that’s something we’ve never had before,” added Hansen. “Keeping the citizens of Glen Ellyn safe is of utmost importance.”