Weather wearing on salt supplies - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Weather wearing on salt supplies

Central Wisconsin's unrelenting winter weather is taking a toll on salt supplies.

Wausau Public Works officials say the bitter cold is a big reason crews have used so much salt.

They say only about half of the city's 5,000-ton supply of salt is left in its storage dome.

Marathon County Highway Department crews also say they're moving through their salt supply quickly.

"This year it just seems like since November came along, we've been plowing two, three, four times a week," said John Bangart, Marathon County Highway Department highway operations supervisor.

The number of snowfalls in central Wisconsin has demanded a lot of salt.

"You can get a half an inch of snow, you're still using close to the same amount of salt as if you had three four inches," said Rob Andringa, Wausau Public Works Department street supervisor.

Plus, the bitter cold calls for more salt.

"With it being cold, it's not as effective and then you have to apply sometimes 10 percent more, 15 percent more in order for it to work," said Andringa.

"When it's cold, it's cold. And it's windy all the time and unless you pre-wet the salt, it blows off the road," said Bangart. "It's just been one of those winters."

Leaders say the relentless weather is wearing on workers too.

"The men are holding up fine. They know their job but they're getting tired," said Bangart. "They come and do their job day in and day out and I'm sure they're looking for a break too."

"It's getting taxing on them. It's been a lot of hours for some of them," said Andringa

Wausau Department of Public Works leaders say they aren't too worried about the supply of salt yet. But there's really no way to know if they'll need more as winter drags on.

"That's definitely up to mother nature," said Andringa.

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