Slick Operation

Slick Operation

Shutterstock | Stephen Barnes

The Maine Department of Transportation is responsible for snow removal on just 18 percent of roads in the state — county and local governments handle most of the rest — but their salting stats are mind-melting.



134,300

Average annual tons of salt put down by MDOT over the past five years. About 2.5 times more weight than last year’s lobster catch.

10

Gallons of a liquid concentrate containing molasses (and magnesium chloride and agricultural byproduct) mixed with one ton of salt. Not recommended for baking, although it does help salt better adhere to roads.

$13.95

Starting hourly wage for MDOT plow drivers. The pay scale maxes out at $19.01 per hour. The state experienced driver shortages the past two winters.


289,190

Labor hours dedicated last year to snow and ice control. That’s 79 years’ worth of 10-hour workdays for one person.

25

The usual speed of a salt truck, in miles per hour — they go slightly faster on highways, but always much slower than you want to go.

50

Typical number of miles a truck loaded with 10 tons of salt can run before needing a refill. That means a truck could drive halfway from Portland to Augusta before turning around and hitting the other side of I-295 on the return.



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