North Dakota DOT Chooses More Salt less Sand for Roadways


The North Dakota Department of Transportation is changing how they deal with icy roads.

From sand, salt, and even some beat juice brine, they’re all in the DOT’s arsenal to keep roads ice free.

But when it comes to fighting ice, The DOT says salt can’t be beat.

“Now, if we were to have 100 percent salt in that truck, that truck can go if it’s an 80 to 20 blend, they can go five times as far,” Wayde Swenson, North Dakota Department of Transportation says.

And switching from a blend of sand and salt to 100 percent salt means trucks can be five times more efficient.

“A truck with a whole load of salt can do that in one operation one [trip],” Swenson says.

But with salt on the road it might just put you at a higher risk for rust.

“Salt is very corrosive to metal and you end up with a lot of rust issues if you don’t address it,” Shane Dammous, body shop technician says.

But not all vehicles are created equally.

“We do see it a lot on truck beds on the rear wheels,” Dammous says.

And when salt begins to break down the metal that means the metal is rusting from the inside out.

“You’ll see bubbling under the paint and at that point the rust has penetrated all the way through and the only way to fix it is to replace that entire panel,” Dammous says.

And the cost can range from $500 upwards of $1,000.

So the best way to keep rust at bay is prevention.

“The best way to address it is to rinse out underneath the vehicle or go to the local car wash,”  Dammous says.

To keep roads safe to drive while still enjoying a smooth looking ride

“If our trucks can go out there and drive that roadway, and not have to come back and fill up four,  five times to apply the same amount of salt to that roadway, it just makes sense that that’s what you do,” Swenson says.

The DOT says they look at how to treat roads on a case by case basis.

The body shop technician says you should have your vehicle washed at least once a month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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