Lower prices, mild weather could save money this winter

A mild start to the winter and lower salt prices could make winter 2016 cheaper for taxpayers in Illinois.

Salt prices are down. States, cities and counties are looking at about $50 per ton of salt this year as opposed to over $60 per ton last year. That plus mild weather could save taxpayers money.

Brian Williamsen with the Illinois Department of Transportation says if it’s another mild winter, the state could see another year of low salt usage.

“Our salt usage is down a fair amount. We used 316,000 tons last year,” Williamson said. “That’s quite a bit less than the previous year, a lot less than two winters before that, and less before even the winter before that.”

Salt and chemicals accounted for about $20 million of the $51 million I-DOT spent on clearing the roads last year. Williamsen said 3,800 snow plow drivers cleared 48,000 miles of roads across the state last winter, and that I-DOT is ready to do more, or less this year, whatever the winter throws at them.

“We prepare for the worst winter, every time around,” Williamsen said. “So we’re prepared for the worst, whatever may come our way.”

–Illinois News Network

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