After a mild start, winter has really ramped up in Central Ohio. February was the second coldest on record–13.5 degrees below normal–and brought 16 inches of snow, more than twice what we shoveled in January.
The City of Columbus has used 25,000 tons of salt this winter, only about 4,000 tons less than at this time last year. The total cost of snow and ice maintenance on area roadways has edged past $5 million, close to the last winter’s total of $5.5 million, even though less materials have been used.
The difference is that the price of salt has risen from $48 to $70 per ton during the past year.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has used more than 84,000 tons of salt in their eight-count District 6 (Franklin, Madison, Fayette, Delaware, Morrow, Union, Pickaway and Fairfield counties), compared to more than 103,000 tons last winter. Total costs this winter for equipment and fuel has reached $10.4 million in the region, compared to last year’s expenditure of $10.5 million.
Last winter (2013-14) brought historic snowfalls in Ohio, and winter maintenance costs for ODOT. For the entire state, about 1 million tons of salt were applied to roadways, with total costs approaching $120 million statewide.