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State looking into using less salt on the roads

Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 17:56:39-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Winter is right around the corner, and your car could bear the brunt of it.

"Winter is brutal on cars," Bob Gugino, owner of Bison Automotive said, "from potholes to extreme cold to salt on the roads."

Salt is what can cause the most harm, not just to cars but the environment as well. A newly approved state bill is looking to reduce the usage of salt on the roads, hoping to switch from salt to sand and other alternatives. Erie County Department of Public Works Commissioner William Geary said it is something that he is monitoring closely.

"There's a lot of new things coming out and it's all to better the environment," Geary said.

The difficulties would surround the cost and effects on the roads. Right now, Erie County requests around 40,000 tons of salt for the year at $44 per ton. According to Commissioner Geary, that bargain is much less than many alternatives. The County has looked into a magnesium chloride mixture, but there are issues with that.

"It is incredibly harmful to the roads."

As of now it is unknown what solutions will be used in the pilot program.