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ODOT preps for snow, aims to avoid using salt

ODOT is already laying down de-icer for the expected snow, but they're looking to only use magnesium chloride.

Posted: Feb. 16, 2018 12:56 PM
Updated: Feb. 16, 2018 7:38 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The expected snowstorm over the weekend is likely bringing slick and slippery roads, so the Oregon Department of Transportation is gearing up.

Staff with ODOT said they laid down de-icer using magnesium chloride to prepare the roads.

They said when preparing for storms like this, they generally look at what resources they have and what the best combination of resources will be for the circumstances.

"There's really an art and a science to getting ready for a storm and responding to a storm," said Angela Beers-Seydel, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

MORE: ODOT tips for winter weather driving

She said that generally after a storm hits, they'll go in with more magnesium chloride to melt the snow and ice. 

As of 2017, they do also have the ability to use salt as well. She said it's not an option they're wanting to use, but they will if it's assessed to be the best option.

Beer-Seydel said they received some concerns about environmental implications of the salt, and she wants people to know if it is used, it will be a miniscule amount.

Staff with ODOT also said drivers need to take their safety into their own hands during these storms.

They advise turning your headlights on, so that you can be seen, turning off your cruise control, so that you have more control, and most importantly, slow down.

Beer-Seydel said ODOT can be as prepared as possible, but if drivers aren't, they'll still have problems with the snow.

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