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Stop the salt, spare the road

Modified: Thursday, Feb 7th, 2013

Tell me please, who within the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) decided that regional highways needed to be slathered with sand heavily laden with salt? The roads, at times, have become a literal sludge of sand and salt and goo, clinging to vehicles and destroying garage floors. It will eventually destroy our vehicles, too.

This past week, I visited several traveling dog mushers who were in the area to participate in the annual Stage Stop dog race. They were incensed (using lots of bad words) that their expensive rigs trucks, trailers and kennels were coated with salt grime. In the thousands of miles they had driven to get here, they said they had not experienced the level of road salting that is occurring here in Sublette County.

Plenty of local citizens are also wondering just what inspired the frenzy of highway salting.

There was a time when the roadways here were blissfully salt-free and clean, with light sanding taking place only at intersections. The roads may have been snowpacked at times and a little slick, but I think most of us knew that we had to slow down and drive accordingly until the sun melted the roadway.

Now I see WYDOT trucks running up and down the roads, sometimes in tandem, burning up the annual fuel allotment by plowing nothing but thin air and happily scattering sand and salt (mostly salt) hither and yon with abandon, assuring that our expensive vehicles will soon be junk.

This madhouse policy must also serve a great benefit when all this stuff runs off into the roadside ditches.

Meanwhile, Gov. Matt Mead is wringing his hands and wondering how to cut expenses within various state agencies, especially WYDOT. I know where he could begin.

John Fandek, Cora

For the complete article see the 02-08-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 02-08-2013 paper.

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