TOWN OF TURTLE—A new public works facility will help position Rock County to better handle snow and salting operations once the interstate expansion is complete, according to Public Works Director Duane Jorgenson.

The property at 3503 Shopiere Road was purchased by Rock County in 2019 and the $3.8 million facility will accommodate new vehicle storage and expand the county’s snow removal efforts.

Due to weather and material supply delays the project’s completion was delayed from December of 2020 to Feb. 15, according to Rock County Facilities Management Director Brent Sutherland.

The site was identified for the new facility after the county worked with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to find the most optimal location for all snow removal routes in the county.

During the design process, WisDOT announced it would pay for the $792,000 salt storage shed, with the county covering $3.44 million for the vehicle storage building, Sutherland said.

“Having this facility at this location not only allows us to provide for the increased needs on the interstate, but also provides more efficient access to serve other routes in the southern and south-eastern portion of the county,” Jorgenson said.

Interstate construction between Beloit and Janesville is expected to be completed by next fall. Jorgenson said the interstate expansion caused the county to increase snowplow routes, known as sections, and to boost salt and salt brine capacity.

The new facility will have capacity to operate 13 snowplow routes, with 10 currently in operation during the winter and an additional three spaces to allow for future use, Jorgenson said.

“These 10 sections will be based out of the new facility with space for 3 additional sections. This additional space is to allow for growth of plow sections or plow section adjustments that may be needed.”

Also on-site is an 8,000-ton salt shed, and Jorgenson said the storage facility will reduce the need to resupply salt during the winter. In addition to the massive salt storage shed, a container capable of holding 18,000 gallons of salt brine solution has been built.