Friday, September 22, 2000

Ask a stupid question


Road salt buildings shaped like, well, a pile of salt

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Question: Why are the buildings that house road salt always dome-shaped?

        Answer: Because it's the most economical and efficient design, says Bill Seitz, CEO of the Cleveland-based Bill Seitz Builders. His company has supplied about 300 domes in Ohio, including two in Hamilton County.

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        “The most compelling reason is because of the profile of a pile of salt,” Mr. Seitz says. “Think of a salt pile, then think of a dome. They're exactly the same.” Plus, there are no corners for salt to hide in when the maintenance crews go in there a'scooping on those wintry nights.

        His domes, he says, are made of concrete and covered with asphalt shingles. “You have to use non-corrosive materials when you're dealing with road salt,” he says. “Use metal and you have a major corrosion problem because of the way salt eats away at metal. Then you have the EPA on the case.”

        Domes, 72 feet in diameter and 36 feet high, also have asphalt flooring, Mr. Seitz says.

       If you have a stupid question, send it to Ask a Stupid Question, Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202; fax: 768-8330.

       



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