Storm may be over, but the great salt debate
PORTLAND The storm that paralyzed the Portland metropolitan
area renewed the debate over using salt on roads.
A lot of people may not know that while Oregon does not use
salt, Washington does, and now they are looking at using salt
Truckers trapped in Troutdale made it clear how they feel
about using salt on Oregon's highways.
"You've got millions of dollars that's being lost. If
there's a need for salt, this is it," said Ken Hatt.
However, the Oregon Department of Transportation says salt
would do little good during the storm. They say salt would
hurt the environment, corrode bridges and rust out your car.
"How many snowy days do we have in Oregon, just a couple,
and how many below freezing? Salt is essentially an environmental
poison," said Dave Thompson with ODOT.
In Washington, they have a different take on the use of salt,
where they mix it with gravel and use it sparingly and only
on the worst roads.
Right now they are testing how pure rock salt and salt water
work on two stretches of highway, including Interstate-90
They are hoping to come up with a definitive answer about
whether salt is a better way to deal with winter weather.
ODOT says it will closely watch Washington's salt experiment
to see how it works.