Winter's Intensity Causing Shortage of Road Salt
The state Department of Transportation would like the local counties to cut back on the use of road salt as supplies are running low. Oneida County Highway Commissioner Freeman Bennett says the counties are contracted by the state to keep the roads clear.
Wednesday, DOT officials said the long, hard winter has taken a toll on salt supplies. Bennett says they will be adjusting how much salt is applied on certain roads....
".....the more heavily traveled connector routes, they have asked us to drop from 300 pounds per lane mile down to 200 pounds of salt per lane mile and then and then on all other state roads they asked us to drop from 300 pounds per lane mile to 100 pounds per lane mile...."
The reason: the long winter has required more salt to be used. He says the sun plays a big role in getting ice and snow off the roads, but if there's a freezing rain event, it gets difficult to keep the roads clear...
"....you have surface temps down below 30 degrees. When the rain comes in contact with that it will freeze instantly. With that being said, you use a lot more salt to keep the roads...eliminate black ice you might say..."
Average salt use on the State Highway System is about 500,000 tons per year. At the beginning of this season, 775,000 tons of salt were available and about 135,000 tons remain statewide.
Bennett says warmer weather will help.