Let it snow; the state transportation department is ready. The state transportation department’s prepared for winter road work. D-O-T winter operations administrator Dennis Burkheimer says there’s already a supply of de-icing material laid in.While there isn’t a whole winter’s supply, 172,000 tons are stored and there’s a contract for another 200-thousand tons. The last three years his department experimented with a chemical beyond salt. The product called Ice Ban is made from corn and added to salt to make a non-corrosive chemical. The problem is, ice brine costs seven cents a gallon, the “Ice Ban” chemical a dollar-twenty, so it won’t be used this year. Burkheimer says it doesn’t mean the end of trying out alternatives.There are lots of new de-icing chemicals, some that show promise and get cheaper, so they’re always looking for new materials to use. The storage sheds are filled with salt, and it won’t be a problem if they’re not emptied this winter.He hopes the bins stay full so salt will be cheaper next year, though last winter they came close to running out. Burkheimer says though towns and counties buy their own salt for roadwork, they can purchase it through the state’s vendor contract if they get a better price that way.
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