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La Crosse County tries different ways to save salt on roads



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.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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