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State Road Crews Running Short on Salt & Sand - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

State Road Crews Running Short on Salt & Sand

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Sand and salt are running low in Minnesota and North Dakota, and that has crews concerned. 

As each inch of snow continues to fall and drifting continues across the roads, the supply of salt continues to diminish.

"Some of our outlying sections are running a little bit low," says Bruce North with the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT).

The North Dakota DOT in southeast North Dakota has seen salt use has rise well above last year, which isn't surprising to Nord.  "We had a pretty mild winter. '96-'97 of course we had a lot of snow, and years in between there. We're about average as far as a typical average winter."

The Minnesota DOT is seeing a similar issue for salt levels.

"Between last year compared to this year, we've used about 50 percent more of that sand and the salt," says Jerimiah Moerke of the Minnesota DOT.

So far in this district, Minn-DOT has used 15,000 tons of salt, which is 5,000 tons more than last year.

"Every year we estimate the amount that we need, and we did estimate higher than the need last year, but the need, it's been a relatively stormy winter."

Because of this, both the North Dakota and Minnesota road crews are working on contingency plans to make sure they have enough salt to get through the next couple winter blasts.

"I've got another couple transports coming in today, and that should get me through the weekend. Then I've got three more scheduled to come in the first part of next week."

"First of all, we can purchase some additional salt. In addition to that we're also in discussions with other districts around the state to reallocate salt if needed."

The concerns have crews watching where and when they use the salt, but they say you'll still be safe on the roads.

"We're not skimping on safety for the traveling public."

Minn-DOT is above a four-year average of salt use, which shows you how much snow we've gotten this year compared to the past couple.

In North Dakota, to prepare for the next couple weeks of snow, the DOT will be making more salt brine chemical and moving more salt to the areas that are running low.

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