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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Ditching the usual salt-and-sand mixture, the City of Madison decided in an unusual move to salt all residential roads in preparation for the snow. 

Madison to salt all residential roads in preparation for winter storm

In preparation for a snowstorm Monday night, the City of Madison announced that throughout the day the Streets Division will be salting all residential roads, an announcement breaking with the usual protocol of using a salt-and-sand mixture on most streets.

The National Weather Service declared a winter storm warning for Dane County Monday, expecting between 6 and 10 inches of snowfall between 6 p.m. and midnight.

Due to expected snow and existing icy conditions on Madison roads, the Streets Division made the call for the safety of both road users and plow vehicles.

Another reason the city decided to salt all streets is the usual mixture of salt and sand has proven ineffective in melting ice and snow so far this winter. 

According to a statement released by the city, this is “likely” the first time all residential streets will be salted “since the salt route policy was instituted in the 1970s.”

In this pass, however, plows and salt trucks will not be salting the regular amount on all roads. Typically, the city will be applying 200 pounds of salt per lane mile instead of the usual 300 pounds per lane mile. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, road salt can lead to increased chloride levels in local water sources and can also increase the salt concentration in water wells. 

After Monday, the city will not be salting all streets unless otherwise announced. 

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