Unprecedented decision: Madison decides to salt residential streets

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)--- The city will be applying salt to all residential streets in Madison on Monday for the first time since the 1970s.

The City of Madison said this extraordinary action is necessary due to the persistent layer of ice on m any streets, and the likelihood of a major winter storm arriving Monday evening. Many roads remain very slippery and challenging for all users. On ice packed streets, plowing equipment would be unable to gain sufficient traction to push the anticipated heavy snow from the road.

The city said the unprecedented decision was made after it became apparent that the sand/salt mixture previously used on residential streets was not effective in breaking through the ice layer on the roads. The sand used by the streets division is mixed with a small amount of salt because the sand is stored outdoors and the salt is necessary to keep the sand pile from freezing solid.

The city said the salt application began Monday morning and will be complete prior to the start of the winter storm on Monday night. This should provide enough time for the salt application to work before the probable citywide plowing operation begins on Tuesday.

The streets division will not continue to salt each Madison street in response to more normal winter conditions.