Cold winter causes counties' road sand supplies to run low

Feb 8, 2018

Old man winter has dropped about 100 inches of snow in some Michigan counties already this winter. And, at least one county road commission is starting to feel the pressure.

Road commissions typically look at previous years salt and sand usage and take an educated guess to determine how much of each to order for the current year.

Brian Gutowski is the engineer manager for the Emmet County Road Commission. He said the county is starting to run low on sand. And they can’t order anymore because there isn’t anywhere to get sand in the winter.

“It’s been so cold that salt isn’t really effective when it’s that cold. So, we’ve gone through a lot of sand this year. That’s the only thing you can do is try to get some kind of grit onto the roads so you get a little bit more traction”.

Gutowski said he is relieved that the county was able to purchase new equipment this year for the first time in seven years because of additional revenue from Michigan’s gas tax increase.