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DOT warns county highway departments to conserve road salt

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin officials have told county highway departments to conserve on road salt, to make sure there's enough for the rest of this snowy winter.

The DOT contracts with counties to keep state and federal highways clear of snow and ice.

Wednesday, officials said about 135,000 tons of road salt remain available, after the winter began with a 775,000 ton stockpile. Officials say about a half-million tons of salt are used on state highways each winter -- but as we know, this is far from a normal winter.

Under the DOT's new guidelines, counties are being told to use sand and salt mixtures on lesser-used highways, reduced salt applications on busy non-Interstate routes, and no changes on the I-system itself.

Also, the state said counties should pre-wet salt before applying it. That's because less salt is generally needed when it sticks to the roadways.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)