CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The winter of 2013-14 so far has been one of the most difficult in a while for West Virginia. Snowplow drivers have been in the cab of the truck chasing the scraper blade almost non stop in recent weeks somewhere in West Virginia.

The impact of the weather has also started to put a dent into stockpiles of salt at Department of Highways stockpiles across West Virginia.

“It’s not a crises for us, but we have started asking our districts what they think they’ll need to get through this season,” said  Department of Transportation Spokesman Brent Walker said. “Sure some areas are running lower than others, but we’ve got plans in place to move the salt where we need to should another major event come.”

The state Department of Transportation started the year with about 160,000 tons and has had to order more. The state has used more than 236,000 tons of salt on nearly 36,000 miles of highway. So far the department has spent 77 percent of the 55 million dollar budget for snow removal.

“A lot of it has been used, but we’ll just wait and see,” Walker said. “We just don’t think this winter can continue the way it’s been. Every winter we can remember there’s been a break, and we’re certainly due a break.”

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  • preston county wv

    In all honesty, i think we all need to see where our tax money truly goes to, besides, DOH pockets. I am speaking for preston county side and haha they never do anything for our roads when its 70 out let alone - 15. i love it, truly do.

  • Silence Dogood

    Better start using the sugar beet juice. No chemicals, all natural. No beet farmers in this area to have a supply of the juice for the roads. There is a green idea, turn the re-claimed strip mine lands into beet farms. Then use the beets for juice for the roads in the winter.

  • rick

    Road everything else costs money. The is enduring a never ending budget cut. They purchase ahead of time what they believe the anticipated need will be. To purchase more is a budget strainer.

  • 1hillbilly

    Not to worry , Global Warming will clear the highways .

  • Me

    If you live near capital you will be fine. rest of us not so much

  • Aaron

    What baffles me is the DOH putting down salt on days the temperature never rose above 15. It doesn't work thus it's a huge waste.

  • I'm honest at least

    I'm not sure they use much. I can't understand why a person would need 4 wheel drive in WV cross over the MD state line 2 wheel drive is all that's needed.

    • Larry


  • zero tolerance

    Here'Here's a novel idea, purchase the most measured amount of salt you have used in the worst winter.

    No brainer!


    Problem solved!

    Its not rocket science!


  • Jonus Grumby

    I certainly understand DOH's plight. How much road-salt is enough? The weather certainly is not predictable. It's literally a crap-shoot.

  • Shadow

    With all this salt in the State rivers, we should be stocking varieties of salt water fish like Tuna, Bluefish, etc instead of Bass and Crappies. Salted land and water is a coming disaster.

    • Joe

      Agreed Shadow. There is a tremendous amount of brine water being pulled out of the shale, as well that can be used.

      • Bandit

        Works here in the panhandle. Pre-treat a day before it's supposed to hit and you don't have to salt as much during.

        • Bingo

          I've been saying for years the DOH needs to pre-treat like the WV Turnpike does. But they never will. In the southern counties they rarely use salt, just cinders. That is why the Turnpike is the only decent road in the winter.

          • skier

            This is the best reason not to take the tolls off the turnpike. If tolls are gone I-77 will become a secondary road.

        • Call Them As I see Them

          They used more salt last night (9 Feb14) for a skiff of snow than for the previous worst storms. What a joke here in the Eastern Panhandle. We do sometimes see brine on I-81. Additionally, we get more gravel on our secondary roads than more cracked windshields. Ugh!