The Transportation Department reports Missouri’s statewide blizzard cost the department $8.7 million dollars. Maintenence Liaison Engineer Tim Jackson says even at that cost in supplies and man hours, the state’s salt supply is stocked.
He says 144,000 tons have been used so far this season; the department still has 110,000 tons on hand. He says supplies are replenished throughout the snow season. MoDOT also uses liquid calcium chloride and beet juice mixed with the salt to be more effective in extremely cold temperatures.
MoDOT Director Kevin Keith has said all along the department would do less salting to save money. Maintenence engineer Tim Jackson says motorists might be noticing that during heavy snows. He explains that the shoulders and center stripe were not plowed as throroughly as in years past, which saves man hours and salt and chemicals, while at the same time leaving a cleared path for motorists.
The department’s risk management team has not yet come up with totals on damage to roads, bridges and equipment.
“It takes our districts a while to identify the damage, match it to an accident report and then enter the information into our system,” department spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler says.