Milwaukee remains in “salt conservation mode” after salt shortage last year

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Motorists are urged to drive with caution as side streets in Milwaukee are still snow-covered and slippery.  Milwaukee DPW crews are working hard to plow and salt, though they are still in “salt conservation mode.”

On Thursday, January 8th the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works had 108 salt trucks on the roads.

Officials say those 108 trucks were spreading a mixture of salt with calcium chloride — which is a combination that’s more effective in colder temperatures. The trucks were also equipped with plows.

“We [had] 108 trucks on the roads. They are salting and plowing — currently concentrating on the main streets. The liquid calcium should help (the salt) to be a bit more effective — to prevent the ice from forming on the pavement. We’ll be plowing as necessary, once the snowfall depths get to about an inch. This type of snow is a very fine, powdery snow that just doesn’t respond well to the salt/calcium mix. It’s almost like you have flour on your flooring. You sweep it and it just kind of blows all over. Drive safely, drive for winter road conditions and everyone should get home safely. When people get up in the morning, we expect a smooth ride in,” Wand a Booker with the city of Milwaukee DPW said.

Booker says despite the snow, the city of Milwaukee remains in salt conservation mode after a salt shortage last year.

“We are in salt conservation mode — which means we are applying salt at a lower rate on main (streets) and particular residential (streets). We are just salting at the stops and intersections — so the long sections of the street we are just plowing so people can get in and out. We don’t want to run out (of salt). To ensure the city of Milwaukee has an adequate salt supply to get through the remainder of January, February, March, and part of April, we have to ration our salt so we have enough salt,” Booker said.

Booker says drivers just need to exercise caution.

“People just need to drive for winter road conditions. I saw many accidents. People were simply driving too fast. SLOW DOWN,” Booker said

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