Friday, December 2, 2011

Michigan Dept. of Transportation Saving Salt

Any effort to conserve salt is cool with me.  The less salt used for non-culinary purposes, the more salt we can eat.  So when I read that the Michigan Department of Transportation is trying to save salt this season, I was quite pleased.  I still am, in fact.

A map of Michigan.

The department has issued new speed guidelines for salt-spreading snow plows in the southwest of the state.  To ensure that salt doesn't scatter too far and bounce off the road, trucks must drive at a sluggish 25 mph (40 km/h).  But it's not sluggish, really, it's... steady... determined... deliberate.  Because we don't want to waste salt. 


The new measures are expected to reduce salt distribution by up to 40%, reduce the frequency of salt runs, save on truck maintenance, improve the safety conditions of the roads, and save around $100,000 annually, which is probably worth the scorn of impatient motorists.  No doubt there will be at least one driver this year who is rushing to get home for dinner, angry at the salt trucks for slowing him down.  There are a few levels of irony here that I won't go into.

It will probably take a year or two to adequately analyze the results.  Hopefully, if it all works well, other snowy regions will follow suit.

12 comments:

  1. I remember hearing atlanta had no money for salt trucks this year when they big snow storm hit

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  2. Good info. I assume they did some real world testing before they issued their guidelines.

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  3. Always good to have effective measures put in place to improve efficiency.

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  4. trucks probably shouldnt be going faster than that in snowy conditions anyway

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  5. What a waste of salt! Trucks must only slow down.

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  6. how do you find news stories about salt? /baffled

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  7. We don't use salt for the roads in Canada.
    Well, not sodium chloride, at least.
    Sodium chloride does bad things to the soil.

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  8. That be good info to have for Canada. Seeing as we're snowed in like half the year. :|

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  9. What is the usual speed of the salt trucks?

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to prove that you're worth your salt.