Road salt supplies running thin in U.S., but not so much in Minnesota

  • Article by: Mary Lynn Smith
  • Updated: February 4, 2014 - 10:28 PM

Minnesota transportation officials expect to have enough salt to make it through the winter – unless winter throws a curve ball.

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bredpathFeb. 5, 1412:06 AM

So Washington and Anoka counties have only about a fifth of their salt stores left. There are still two full months of winter left, with March usually being the snowiest. Seems like a salt-shortage is all but guaranteed.

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Audi5000fwdFeb. 5, 14 1:47 AM

Excellent story. It's amazing that we manage at all, way up here in this blue state. Some people are always suggesting we should watch our money more like a Red State. Like Texas. Or Georgia. Places where they don't need to spend 10% of what we do for the effects of winter weather on pavement. Places where, if it snows TWO INCHES, it's a national story for a week. Yep, it's amazing. Oh, and I just got off the 35 to 494 speedway... 60 mph the whole way, no problem.

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heckyousayFeb. 5, 14 5:45 AM

Snow in JUNE?!?!?? Don't give the weatherman any ideas, Kevin!!

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norselandcFeb. 5, 14 6:27 AM

I live in Northeast Mpls. near the Northtown Yards rail depot. In the past week I have twice noticed train cars of salt being unloaded onto trucks. The rail depot is near the boundary of Hennepin and Anoka county, so I suppose the salt could be for either one.

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teddy64Feb. 5, 14 7:36 AM

Maybe the surplus is due to the fact we haven't used any.

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privateeyeFeb. 5, 14 7:53 AM

Of course we have leftover salt. We don't get out and plow when the snow falls and only clear the streets after the snow. Restore the funding to this important department. We used to be the pride of America for our ability to remove snow, now we are just like the rest of the nation. A 4-6 inch snowfall used to be clear in a few hours.

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OldGIFeb. 5, 14 8:37 AM

It's interesting that the environmentalist aren't concerned with hundreds of thousands of tons of salt that are running off into the waterways and rivers every spring when everything else that is dumped on the ground they protest about. No wonder the salinity of our water has increased. I guess as long as our roads are clear, its OK.

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bubzkiFeb. 5, 14 8:48 AM

Misleading in the article - salt isn't only for snow. It also applies to ice and black ice, which often occur without new snowfall. The extended cold has made salt ineffective this year, as it generally needs to be 15-20 degrees to raise the freezing point enough to actually melt. This year is brutal because we've had so few warm spells to clear the roads.

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rogerbFeb. 5, 14 9:27 AM

I think we rely too much on road salt. First of all, we get lulled into complacency thinking we do not need to adjust our driving to the conditions, which is just not true. Second, take a look at your floor mats, your garage floors, and the sidewalks around every shopping center, office building, etc, and you will see where the owners or their contractors have gone to town with excess salt. Look at the rust on your car. Look at the destroyed streets, highways and sidewalks. I'm not even touching the environmental reasons to cut back which are just as great at these nuisance reasons. Actually I'm surprised we don't have a shortage here.

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cosmicwxdudeFeb. 5, 14 9:58 AM

With the colder and snowier winters now imminent for the next 30yrs, whoops, I mean with the warmer global warming tropical breezes expected to overtake MN in the next 30yrs we have nothing to worry about. Carbon tax, now!!

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