As road salt prices climb, county transportation department look to water-salt mix to conserve saltSubmitted: 11/28/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

As road salt prices climb, county transportation department look to water-salt mix to conserve salt
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin DOT and county highway departments spend almost $100 million on road salt every winter.

When the cost of salt goes up, they feel it.

Road salt costs rose 8.7 percent this year.

That's pushed the DOT to help counties find ways to conserve salt. The DOT is training highway departments to properly mix and spread salt and water, which can cut salt usage by half.

"It targets where that salt stays. It stays in the travel lane where the cars are and where we want to remove the snow and the hard pack from the roads," Wisconsin DOT engineer Nick Vos said. "[With] rock salt, there's a loss factor from traffic. It just naturally blows off the road."

The DOT is hoping for a mild winter. More snow and ice means higher road maintenance costs.

"The more money we spend on winter between January and March is less work we can do in the summertime and the fall, because that money has been eaten up," Vos said.

Vilas Co. comes in with the highest costs in the state, paying more than $90 per ton.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com


RHINELANDER - Groups like the KIN Youth Program in Rhinelander, United Way of Langlade County, and Crandon Police Department got literal and figurative big checks thanks to this year's Giving Tuesday campaign by CoVantage Credit Union.

The third-annual campaign kicked off just after Thanksgiving.

Through December, it raised more than $300,000 for local nonprofit groups.

Those groups got their checks within the last few weeks.

+ Read More

HURLEY - An Arbor Vitae man facing more than a dozen new felony charges related to the Wayne Valliere Jr. homicide pleaded not guilty to those counts on Tuesday.

Prosecutors charged Evan Oungst, 28, with nine counts of harboring or aiding a felon and five counts of giving out illegal drugs in Iron County Court on Oct. 5.  

He was first charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse felonies in Iron County in Feb. 2018.  That case is still active.

+ Read More

MARSHFIELD - The Marshfield Police Department wants to find three suspects it believes used counterfeit money at an area business.

According to a release from MPD and the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network, the suspects used two fake $100 bills to buy gas and food.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - The Eagle River World Championship Derby Track's three new owners knew they could put out a great product, but the true test came this past weekend when thousands of people came to check out the changes.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Thirty-one nonprofit organizations lined up their tables in the Trig's Riverwalk Center in Rhinelander on Tuesday, hoping to draw in new helpers.

The Northwoods United Way and other groups hosted the first-ever Northwoods Volunteer Fair.

"There is a need for volunteers at these agencies. We have over 150 within the Northwoodsâ€"nonprofit agenciesâ€"that always need help and are looking for assistance," said fair organizer Nancy Sattler.

The Rhinelander Area Scholarship Foundation raises thousands of dollars to give to high school seniors every year. It was one of dozens of organizations seeking more members and volunteers.

+ Read More

Play Video

Mistakes can happen when you manage a budget worth tens of millions of dollars. Merrill's Finance Director apparently made a few calculation errors that led to many upset people. The city is now working to make sure confusion and calls for resignations don't happen again.

Tuesday night at a Committee of the Whole meeting a financial consultant came in to explain more about taxation and how Tax Incremental Districts (TIDs) affect a budget.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Veterans in Rhinelander will get some support a little closer to home. The Oneida County Veteran's Service recently gained a new counselor from Wausau after the former counselor retired from the Service Office. 

+ Read More
+ More General News