The rising cost of salt could be a budget-buster for road agencies this coming winter.
“It’s a simple supply-and-demand situation, obviously, and we went through a ton of salt, all agencies across the state and the upper Midwest because of last year’s winter,” says Jeff Cranson of the Michigan Department of Transportation. “And we anticipate this year, we’re going to have another pretty rough winter and, now, we know going into it that salt prices are going to be up.”
Cranson says the cost of salt is about 50 percent more than last year. Cranson says the state and local road agencies used 656 thousand tons of salt last winter. The same amount would cost about $40 million today.
He says history suggests it could be years before the cost of road salt goes down. He says it’s one more reason the state needs to come up with more road revenue.
Governor Rick Snyder is pressing the Legislature to approve a package to raise more than a billion dollars for roads.