MDOT salt trucks slowing down

The Herald-Palladium, St. Joseph, Mich.

(MCT)

Nov. 30–Michigan Department of Transportation snow plow trucks are slowing down to 25 mph while applying salt to roads this winter to improve effectiveness and safety, the agency announced.

The speed of trucks operating in the nine-county Southwest Region is being reduced from the 35-45- mph range, MDOT said.

Motorists are asked to drive cautiously near the slower-moving trucks and allow them enough “room to groom.”

The 25 mph maximum is a nationally recommended standard speed for salt trucks. The slower speed reduces the bounce and scatter of salt that occurs at higher speeds. That means more salt stays on the pavement and less waste, according to MDOT.

When more salt stays on the roads, the amount of snow and ice is reduced, making conditions safer for motorists.

“This change in our salting practices is designed to reduce costs and increase our effectiveness and efficiency,” said MDOT Southwest Region Maintenance Superintendent Rich Hassenzahl. “But safety is always the top goal. While the roads will be salted better this way, motorists still need to be aware of our plow trucks moving at a slower speed, especially on our freeways.”

MDOT estimates it will use 30 to 40 percent less salt this year in the Southwest Region, resulting in savings of more than $100,000.

The increased effectiveness of MDOT salting efforts also is expected to reduce the number of times routes need to be salted. Reducing the number of miles drive cuts down wear and tear on equipment, extending its life and reducing maintenance costs.

MDOT’s Southwest Region includes Berrien, Van Buren, Cass, Allegan, Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties.

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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