New facility in Murray built to treat roads, save money

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Elizabeth Fields- Reporter
Chad Darnall-Photojournalist

MURRAY, Ky. — It took about a year and $130,000 to build, but Murray's Street Department Supervisor Ron Allbritten the payoff from their new brine production facility.

It's one of the only automated facilities in the country. A machine mixes the rock salt and the water to the perfect consistency.

Allbritten said switching from rock salt to the solution has already saved the city money. He said it costs about $21 dollars a mile to treat a road with salt. It only costs $3 a mile to treat them with brine.

Kentucky's state facilities use brine to treat the roads and up until 2010 sold some of it to communities like Murray.

"We looked at it as an opportunity,"said Allbritten. "We could produce our own."

So they built the buildings themselves to save even more money. "We figure we saved half the cost of what it would take to have someone else do it."

Now the facility is up and running and efficient enough to help other communities, too.

Randy Anderson, Benton's Supervisor of Maintenance, said his crew already uses brine, but was driving to Lyon County to get it. He said the Murray location is closer.

Jerry Bowman, Road Supervisor for Carlise County, came to check out the new facility on Thursday.

"It would be real handy and like I said a lot more cost efficient for us because we generally use regular salt," said Bowman.

Allbritten said they haven't set a final price for the brine but it could be around 15 cents a gallon. He said they're even willing to deliver it to other communities if they have somewhere to store it.

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