Oregon DOT To Increase Use Of Salt On Icy Roads
The Oregon Department Of Transportation (ODOT) has completed its study of the use of salt on roadways during snowy and icy conditions. The study concluded that there were significant benefits of using salt over the traditional magnesium chloride and sand road treatments.
The ODOT study found that using salt resulted in:
- 25% fewer crashes
- 80% fewer road holds/closures
- 4 times fewer chain restrictions
- Effective and economical for heavy snow and freezing rain
The use of salt is also anticipated to generate a savings of $30,000-$900,000 annually by reducing the use of sand 40-50%, using 10-20% less fuel and overtime.
As a result of the study, ODOT plans to increase the use salt on key traffic routes during inclement weather periods. These routes include the entire I-5 and I-84 corridors along with Highway 95 in southeast Oregon. The increase does not come without costs.
An estimated $10 million will be needed to build environmentally friendly salt sheds and wash stations as well has buy stainless sanders and treat bridge deck seals. ODOT is currently exploring options to find the money required to put the plan into place.