Questions raised over ‘no salt’ roads after deadly crash on Cleveland’s West Side

Questions raised over ‘no salt’ roads after deadly crash on Cleveland’s West Side

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - There are new safety questions being raised after a deadly crash on an untreated snow-covered street in Cleveland.

A 53-year-old female driver was killed, and her male passenger was badly injured when the woman lost control of her vehicle while trying to make the turn from Fulton Road onto Vega Street in the Ohio City neighborhood.

Just a few blocks away, a street sign warns crews not to lay salt down on the roadway.

It’s not uncommon for these signs to be put up after new construction, to help protect new concrete from erosion, while the concrete continues to set.

The process can take 90 days.

According to Daniel Neff, an engineer on a separate but similar project, it all comes down to getting the concrete to cure, or harden, to appropriate levels.

“Reaching the proper compressive strength provides the service life for a new concrete road of a minimum of 25 years,” Neff said last year. “If concrete fails to reach the design strength of 4000 PSI (pound per square inch) it will have a tendency to fail earlier than the desired design life.”

19 News asked a City of Cleveland spokesperson for more information on the number of no salt roads throughout the city and what types of alternatives there are.

The city refused to comment, pointing only to a previously released statement by police, which simply describes the crash.

“Driver failed to negotiate the left turn, operated out of control on the snow covered road, through the Vega Avenue intersection. The 2004 Hyundai crossed the center of the road, operated over the east curb of Fulton Avenue and struck a no parking sign and then the bridge pillar.”
Cleveland Police Department

People who live near the crash have safety concerns.

“Is it really worth risking human lives?” asked Mason Heath of Ohio City, before answering “I don’t think so. I’ve seen crazy drivers; I’ve been driving for over 15 years. It gets stupid in winter."

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