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5 Things MDOT Says About Road Salt


MDOT Southwest Michigan Region spokesperson Nick Schirripa told us 5 things you may not know about the road salt used on our local highways and roads:

1. Salt is pre-treated with Calcium Chloride to aid in the melting process. This is the same treatment sometimesĀ applied directly to road surfaces ahead of a storm to help keep them from freezing as fast.

2. MDOT has adjusted speeds on plows so they move slower when they drop salt, in order to more effectively spread it. Schirripa said this helps have better control over where the salt goes once it leaves the truck-mounted distributor.

3. Some intersections may seem to have been salted more than other parts of the road. Schirripa said this is true in some cases, but is also affected by the slower and stopped traffic, which causes snow under vehicles to melt faster.

4. Some snowmelt happens at intersections more readily, too, because as salt trucks stop for lights, their spreaders take some time to power down – which may leave a higher concentration of salt in those intersections. That salt is later spread by passing cars and trucks.

5. Salt generally works best at 20 degrees above zero and warmer. It’s true, though, that some authorities drop it anyway when it’s colder, and it still works.

Hear more from Nick by clicking the player below.

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