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Winter Salt Destroying County Roads And Bridges

Last updated on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

(BEDFORD) - The commissioners received bids for the purchase of salt to treat roadways this winter.

The bids were taken under advisement. Highway Superintendent Dave Holmes told commissioners the county currently has about half of the salt needed to treat roads this winter.

That amount was left over after the mild winter last year.

The commissioners are going to use less salt this year, because they plan to use small gravel for traction on roadways.

Commissioner Bill Spreen say the salt usage is destroying county roads and bridges.

"We have to get a handle on the problem," Spreen says. "The salt is deteriorating roadways and we have no choice but to look for alternative methods to treat the roads. The small gravel allows for traction, but will not melt the ice. Motorist will just have to slow down and take their time getting to their destinations."

Spreen says Orange County has been using gravel to treat the roadways for years and it has worked for them.

"It also has a second purpose and will be pushed to the sides of the roads when plowed adding to the brim," Spreen says. "I understand people don't like change, it's even hard for us, but we have no choice we need to do something before this road situation gets way out of our control."

Spreen says salt will still be used like when temperatures fall below freezing, but commissioners are hoping they will be able to use gravel or coal ash, which is cheaper, most of the time.

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