CDOT’s use of salt on high­ways

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Richard Dan­nelly,

I’ve lived in Colorado for 35 years. Be­fore that I lived in Michi­gan. Michi­gan has long used salt as its main win­ter road haz­ard de­ter­rent. It is use­ful but has hid­den risks that soar into the mil­lions of dol­lars in de­val­u­a­tion of ve­hi­cles and road in­fra­struc­tures. Salt causes rust on all ex­posed steel parts of ve­hi­cles. This has­tens the fail­ure of brak­ing and ex­haust sys­tems, steer­ing com­po­nents and nu­mer­ous other crit­i­cal work­ing parts. It short­ens the life of a car and de­creases its value by as much as 30 per­cent over non-rust lo­ca­tions. When the Colorado Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion ini­ti­ated the use of mag­ne­sium chlo­ride, we were on the path to sen­si­bil­ity in road safety. Though it is cor­ro­sive, it is far less so than salt. Now with CDOT us­ing salt on our roads, I be­lieve we have se­ri­ously re­gressed in road haz­ard tech­nol­ogy. I say put this to a vote in the next elec­tion cy­cle and see if ci­ti­zens agree with this ar­chaic de­ci­sion.

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