Road Salt

Vancouverites have been in a mad rush to get salt as the city experiences a rare extended period of snow and icy weather. At one fire hall, there was a miniature riot as a pile of free salt was snapped up by area residents in only five minutes.

Thus B.C. has joined Canada’s annual bacchanalia of salt. Literal mountains of the stuff are being dumped onto roads this winter, corroding cars, destroying shoes, withering crops and eating away at the very foundations of our towns and cities.

Salting allows us to drive 110 km/h on the highway in the depths of winter, but it may well be the most destructive peacetime government program in Canada. Below, a summary of the price we pay for cheap de-icing.

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I checked with my “guru” (Google) a few minutes ago and there are many alternatives to rock salt which may be better and more important, cheaper. Visitors can look through them at their leisure. This is the one that most interests me although I am not an expert on this problem. What I do know is that ice forms on major highways at -2C near truck stops and the only lane that is safe is lane one (high speed lane) because trucks can’t use it. I’m thinking the 401 highway in Ontario or similar road systems. Unknown in my case… Read more »