Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 How can WE have a road salt shortage? Previous Next
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Gnome
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Username: Gnome

Post Number: 804
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 6:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought we are sitting on the largest vein of salt in North America. How can there be a shortage of salt?

I understand the salt companies aren't working the mines, but I've never heard the reason why. Who owns them, and what are they doing with them, besides providing secret underground tunnels for commuting Mormon Masons from Grosse Pointe...

salt shortage story here
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Pgn421
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Username: Pgn421

Post Number: 447
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 6:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

believe it or not, Its cheaper to buy road salt, (semi loads) via Canada.
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Johnnny5
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Username: Johnnny5

Post Number: 700
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 6:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I salt/plow snow for a living so this salt shortage has been hitting me harder than most. At the beginning of the season I was paying $49 per ton for salt, but for the past few weeks it's been $129! Like those interviewed in the article I can not wait for Spring.
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Lansingfire
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Username: Lansingfire

Post Number: 87
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 7:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They base the order on average of the past years. If the last 3 years we needed 100 tons each year then this year the would have ordered 100 tons. Except this year has been worse. I doubt they want the salt around all year in storage.
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Hpgrmln
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Username: Hpgrmln

Post Number: 371
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 8:33 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Id prefer if we didn't use salt. When I visited tennessee a few years back, I was shocked at how nice and smooth the roadways were.They use very little salt there. I think Ontario even uses sand far more often than they do salt. The salt destroys the roads, which in turn destroys tires/vehicles and makes the need for pesky road construction projects that much more frequent.
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Rel
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Username: Rel

Post Number: 249
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 9:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A great Detroit News story about our salty legacy:

http://info.detnews.com/redesi gn/history/story/historytempla te.cfm?id=17&category=business
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Higgs1634
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Username: Higgs1634

Post Number: 346
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 9:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Id prefer if we didn't use salt. When I visited tennessee a few years back, I was shocked at how nice and smooth the roadways were.They use very little salt there. I think Ontario even uses sand far more often than they do salt. The salt destroys the roads, which in turn destroys tires/vehicles and makes the need for pesky road construction projects that much more frequent.



The condition of our roads has more to do with the fact the weight limit for heavy trucks is almost twice the national average.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3928
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 9:39 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Id prefer if we didn't use salt. When I visited tennessee a few years back, I was shocked at how nice and smooth the roadways were.They use very little salt there. I think Ontario even uses sand far more often than they do salt. The salt destroys the roads, which in turn destroys tires/vehicles and makes the need for pesky road construction projects that much more frequent.



The condition of our roads has more to do with the fact the weight limit for heavy trucks is almost twice the national average.



Well, and Tennessee doesn't get nearly as much snow.

The condition of Michigan's roads has quite a bit to do with MDOT. They've been so giddy building new freeways all over the place the past few decades that they forgot to maintain what they already own. The higher weight limit doesn't matter if your maintenance program is up to the task.

Fix I-94? Fuck it! Let's build I-696!
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Higgs1634
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Username: Higgs1634

Post Number: 347
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 9:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

well, yeah i guess. but if the constant beating was lessened (by lowering the weight) the maintenance would be manageable. But you're right, having it both ways...expanding + not maintaining is not sustainable.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 4669
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 8:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I read a few weeks ago that a big part of the problem is that Morton can't get their salt barges from Canada because of the (ironically) iced-over waterways.

I just heard on The Weather Channel that North Dakota and Chicago have been mixing beet juice extract in with salt. The beet juice also lowers the melting point of ice but doesn't cause the rust. Strange.
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Lefty2
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Username: Lefty2

Post Number: 1304
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 8:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Canada has easy access via ling truck roads to the mines. Detroit has elevator shafts.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 4671
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 9:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's a recent article about the beet juice additive: Cities, states testing beet juice mixture on roadways.

Beets are high in potassium. Maybe there's some potassium formate in there.
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Erikd
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Username: Erikd

Post Number: 995
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is no shortage of salt. There is a shortage of trucks to deliver it.

From the article above:

"Our salt vendor has an adequate amount of salt, but the problem is that they don't have enough trucks to ship it to everyone who needs it,"
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Rolen
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Username: Rolen

Post Number: 25
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 - 11:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maybe someone can correct me but didn't I hear somewhere that the salt mines under the city are being used to store polluted or nuclear waste. Seems at one time Detroit mined more salt than any place else in the country.
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Lefty2
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Username: Lefty2

Post Number: 1305
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 12:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^ Yes that is where Fermi dumps their spent fuel rods.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6383
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 12:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For anyone who hates using salt on our roadways... just work/live in Ann Arbor for a while... they hate using salt too.

I still remember the 2 hour drive from St. Clair Shores to Ann Arbor just after a 2001 snow storm. It took 1 hour on I-94 from SCS to get to I-94 & State St., and another hour to drive the 3 mile into the city center.
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Zimm
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Username: Zimm

Post Number: 47
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 2:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Here's a recent article about the beet juice additive: Cities, states testing beet juice mixture on roadways."

the article mentions they're using the beet juice/brine combo in Iowa. i was in Iowa in December and drove across the state twice, each time about 6 hours after the waves of ice that paralyzed much of the nation's midsection. i was amazed that the roads were absolutely spotless-not a trace of water, snow, ice, or salt residue. you could drive for half an hour and not use your wipers. unbelieveable!

on another note, the quality of the highway roadwork is outstanding there. i drove a newer stretch of I-80 that was like glass-no bumps or rolls at all, and extremely quiet. keep in mind that this is one of the most heavilly trafficked areas in the US in terms of freight and large loads that are not shippable by rail. far superior to almost any recent new work i can think of in Michigan-save for the S-Curve replacement on 131 in downtown Grand Rapids.
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Gannon
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Username: Gannon

Post Number: 11750
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 3:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Johnny5,

I've got your solution, but it'll take a wee bit of effort.


Follow the county salt trucks around, and scoop up the PILES they leave behind when they stop at lights, etc.


You could finish the season with salt to spare.

I'll try to keep up with the piles I see on the road, there were two rich veins to 'roadmine' just this morning!


Cheers!
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Bigb23
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Username: Bigb23

Post Number: 620
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 4:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Funny -

Three years ago, I was the first one at my shop in the morning after the previous nights plowing of the lot.
Apparently, the guy stopped to make a lengthy cell call, while dropping a 500# salt pile in the lot.
With crates and shovel in the back of my truck handy - finders keepers.
Used the last of it a couple of weeks ago on the drive and walk, after sharing with neighbors.
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Jiminnm
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Username: Jiminnm

Post Number: 1609
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hpgrmln, my parents live in western Tennessee and, as far as I can tell, they don't use anything on the roads in the winter. No salt and no removal equipment. If there is snow or ice of any kind, everyone either stays home or goes out and drives into a ditch or another car.

(Message edited by jiminnm on February 29, 2008)
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Living_in_the_d
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Username: Living_in_the_d

Post Number: 104
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 4:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, Reopen Detroit's salt mines.
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 1006
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 5:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a salt truck driver, I know the problem in not one of no salt, but of distribution. There are only so many trucks/drivers/hours to get the salt out here. When the snow comes back to back, the demand for salt puts a real strain on the system, and stock piles diminish. This is the same problem of how energy demand for gasoline puts a strain on our oil supply/oil refinery problem.
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Bigb23
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Username: Bigb23

Post Number: 626
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 6:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bulletmagnet - when it comes to our "oil supply/oil refinery problem" that seems to be a management winfall in the refinery sector.
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Guideboat
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Username: Guideboat

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Friday, February 29, 2008 - 8:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Is everyone aware that the Detroit salt mine is currently mining salt? Here's a link to their web site. The notion to store waste in the mine was nixed some time ago.

http://www.detroitsalt.com/hom e.htm
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Oldredfordette
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Username: Oldredfordette

Post Number: 4026
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 3:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was so awful on I75 driving home tonight, and not a sign of salt anywhere.

I am so tired of shitty weather.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2362
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 5:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Someone needs to tell The Detroit Salt Company that their pic of the Detroit skyline on their web site under the tab "community relations" is mirrored...
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 2363
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 5:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nevermind. I figured that I would just get on that myself.

Back to the thread. This is the email that Detroit Mercy sent out. Seems to surprisingly well spell out the situation:


As you may have heard from various news services, Michigan and its surrounding areas are experiencing a rock salt shortage. UDM is not exempt from this shortage. Each year the Universty reserves a specific quantity of salt based on previous usage. Due to the more extreme weather this winter, UDM is using a greater quantity of salt than in recent years. With UDM nearing the end of this year's allotment, we have been notified that the supplier (Morton Salt) will not honor any requests for additional salt beyond our allotment. Therefore, Facility Operations must limit quantities of salt used in non-critical areas.

Safety is still our main concern and every attempt will be made to address hazardous areas. Our staff will continue to strive to identify and address all icy areas, however some slick areas may be overlooked. Since we may not be performing a general salting of all areas, Facility Operations needs your assistance in identifying potentially hazardous locations on campus. Please contact Facility Operations regarding areas of icy conditions at 313-993-1240.

Your understanding and assistance during this salt shortage are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your part in helping to keep our campuses safe.

,

Facility Operations
University of Detroit Mercy
ph: 313.993.1240
fx: 313.993.1175
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1692
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 01, 2008 - 5:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Macomb County is using the beet juice mix in the northern reaches to pre-treat icy spots. And I know Detroit Salt Company is ming salt because I have a bag of it in my garage for my driveway and walk. You can buy it at Reindel's in Fraser. $5 for a 50 lbs bag.

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