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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • MoDOT reports salt supply low, not out

  • An extended weather forecast featuring little or no precipitation over the next week or so is not only welcome news to Northeast Missouri motorists, but the Missouri Department of Transportation, whose supply of road-treating materials has dwindled following earlier storms this winter.
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  • An extended weather forecast featuring little or no precipitation over the next week or so is not only welcome news to Northeast Missouri motorists, but the Missouri Department of Transportation, whose supply of road-treating materials has dwindled following earlier storms this winter.
    “We have used a lot and did have to place a re-order for some of our buildings,” said Marisa Ellison, public information manager for MoDOT’s Northeast District, dismissing rumors that MoDOT was not only out of salt, but was having issues reordering more. “We will definitely be replenished very soon.”
    Until reorders are filled, MoDOT has a plan B. According to Ellison, MoDOT districts with ample supplies are prepared to ship some of their materials to districts that are running low.
    The issue of low salt and road-treating materials is not just being seen in one or two parts of the state.
    “We do have some districts that are lower than others, but we are not out of salt and chemicals statewide,” said Ellison. “We have been having some replenishing issues, but this is a nationwide problem because of the storms we’ve had in the country. It’s become a countrywide issue.”
    It’s the types of weather events seen in Northeast Missouri thus far this winter that have taxed the highway department’s salt supply, according to Ellison.
    “It’s not just been snow where you just plow it off,” she said. “This last go-around we didn’t use a lot (of salt) because it was so cold and it doesn’t work as well. All of this (salt) has been used even before that point.”
    According to Ellison, there’s no way to know how much salt and chemicals to order each year.
    “You don’t want to get too much. It will always save until next year, but you don’t want to have all of that inventory sitting there through the summer,” she said.
    The city of Hannibal has already purchased additional road materials, according to City Manager Jeff LaGarce.
    “We have some materials arriving this week that were previously ordered,” he said. “We should have enough material to last the remainder of the winter unless we have an extraordinary number of snowstorms throughout the remainder of winter.”
    As for Marion County, Road Superintendent Howard Lovelace reports its supply of road-treating materials is still good.
    “We don’t use near the salt that MoDOT does. We make a sand, fly ash, chips and salt mixture. We use a lot of sand. We put just enough salt in to keep our cinders from freezing,” he said. “We’re doing OK. We’re not hurting at all.”
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