Road Salt in Maine: An Assessment of Practices, Impacts and Safety
Publication URL: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mcspc_transport/11/
This report presents the results from a research project by a team from the University of Maine, in cooperation with the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), that examines the use of road salt in Maine for winter travel safety. It summarizes winter maintenance practices, changing winter weather patterns, environmental impacts and costs, and winter road safety.
We examined the relationships between wintertime weather and salt use in Maine over the past three decades. Recent changes in the weather and climate patterns are assessed for their long‐term trends. A suite of seasonal weather indices used by transportation management agencies are analyzed for sensitivity to weather/climate patterns and potential use for planning and decision‐making linked to salt use and application. The analysis provides a quantitative basis to understand the salience of changing winter weather patterns to salt use and transportation infrastructure planning and decision‐making. Our analysis offers insights regarding future expectations in a changing climate.