This Winter by the Numbers from MDOT: Road Salt Supplies
If this cold winter seems to have cost you more than previous ones, you’re not alone. Recently MDOT gave some surprising statistics of the demands winter has caused on the budget.
The tale is told by the salt supplies
Through the end of January, MDOT reported that they had used more than 440,000 tons of salt on state highways. They estimate that they will go through 600,000 tons of salt through the end of this winter season.
Their original winter maintenance budget for the 2013-2014 winter was $88 million. This budget is determined by averaging the amount spent on winter maintenance over the past 5 years. They’re expecting to exceed their winter maintenance budget by $40 million.
Something has to give
With a costly winter MDOT knows that they will have to reduce their costs this spring and summer. In order to save money their February 20th press release stated, “Safety-related maintenance activities get top priority, but non-safety activities such as aesthetic mowing, brush and tree cutting, and garbage clean-up may be deferred.”
Trying to wrap your head around the salt needed to maintain Michigan highways?
An African elephant weighs about 5 tons, on average. This year it would take about 120,000 elephants to weigh in at the same amount of salt estimated to be used on our Michigan highways. That’s about 1/5th of all the African elephants in the wild.