La Crosse County will spend several thousand dollars this winter on plows and salt trucks to make the roads safer in bad weather.
Last winter, however, put a strain on salt supplies throughout the region, which has reflected this year with higher salt prices.
“Depending on the route, we use straight salt or we’ll use a salt sand mix,” Ron Chamberlain from the county highway department said, adding the mixture is less than five percent salt by volume.
Chamberlain said the county can use as much as 5,000 tons of road salt during a winter. This season, the county is buying salt at $65 a ton.
Chamberlain also said the use of brine and other alternatives to road salt is one way to lower costs.
Non-salt options are also a way to limit the amount of chlorine that could run off into local waters.