MDOT trying to dispel Michigan transportation myths

The Michigan Department of Transportation says many residents have misconceptions about the state’s infrastructure.

MDOT has just begun a regular series of YouTube videos to try to dispel those myths. It’s called ‘Reality Check’, and MDOT plans to release new segments each month. The first installment covers two myths, one of which has to do with being stingy with road salt.

“That’s a common complaint, that we just don’t put enough salt on the roads,” MDOT Superior Region communications representative Dan Weingarten said. “That’s not the case. We do try to be judicious with the use of salt. We’re trying to save money, but our primary concern is safety of the motoring public.”

Most of the time this winter, it’s been too cold out for salt to be effective. At temperatures of 20 to 30 degrees, salt helps melt the snow, allowing plows to remove it easily from roads.

“But when temperatures drop to below 20 degrees, salt is not as effective, and when it’s below 10 degrees, it can actually make things worse by causing wet pavement to re–freeze faster than it otherwise would,” Weingarten said.

The Michigan Senate recently approved a $100 million supplemental road spending bill for state, county and local road agencies that are forced to dip into summertime maintenance funding to pay for snow removal. MDOT says many residents tell them road maintenance shouldn’t be a high priority in the state budget because the condition of Michigan roads and bridges isn’t that bad. The agency says that’s another myth.

MDOT has more information about the two myths here and here.