Eau Claire happy with state of Hastings Way this winter without using salt

By: Matt Hoffman Email
By: Matt Hoffman Email

Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- Salt hasn't touched the surface of Hastings Way this winter, in an effort to protect the new concrete. So how are the city and public reacting to a salt free Hastings Way?

"Fine...it's been fine," says Audre Sumner of Eau Claire

But other people I talked to today said the roads can be slick at times like early this morning.

"There have been very few complaints about Hastings Way. We've received more positive comments about the use of sand and how it’s more friendly to the environment."

Steve Thompson, Eau Claire streets manager, says their plan of action for Hastings Way has been quite successful.

"We've made the effort to have an additional truck that just takes care of that section from the Eau Claire River south to Clairemont so that has helped and that truck has been equipped with plain sand that is not treated with salt."

He also says the higher traffic volume also helps keep Hastings less slippery during wintry weather. Even our light icing events didn't have many consequences.

"It was more of a film and once we got out there with some sand and got some sand on it. It seemed to take care of it," says Thompson.

Mother Nature hasn't exactly tested Hastings way this winter. The most snow we've seen in one day has only been three inches. But with a potentially larger winter storm in the forecast, Thompson says no matter what they'll be ready.

"The ones that worry me are the more heavier ice and freezing rain built up on the surface. The larger snowfall we would continue to just plow and push it off to the sides of the road and try to keep traffic moving," says Thompson.

Thompson says they have learned a lot from the Hastings Way salt restriction and are looking into methods to use less salt for all their roads and save money. He says the only drawback from sand will be a fair amount of clean up this spring.


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  • by Concerned Location: Eau Claire on Feb 25, 2012 at 08:10 PM
    Even if we had gotten a ton of snow and ice this year, I still agree completely with this practice. Permanent alternatives need to be considered. This can't just be about saving the city money, or the environment. What about me? What about you? The salt causes insane damage to cars, clothing, and even your skin. I used to work with that stuff on a daily basis, and it dried my skin out like you wouildn't believe. I also don't want to have to wash my vehicle every two days to keep the salt off. Not only does it look horrible, but it just eats auto paint like acid. If anybody is wondering why their 2 year old car is already getting rusty, there's your answer. Not only does it cost the city money, but it costs YOU money. I love my car, and I don't want to have to worry about salt all the time in the event that I have to drive it in the winter.
  • by anonymous on Feb 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM
    All the chicken littles thought the sky would fall...and so far its been a non-issue.
  • by Rutherford on Feb 22, 2012 at 08:38 AM
    About time we have had a nice winter. We have not had a nice winter like this since 06, and that one hardly counts, really since 01! I never understand the mindset that if its not 20 below zero with four feet of snow on the ground from Thanksgiving until Easter that its not a real winter. Where are you people from, the Northwest Territories?
  • by denise Location: north on Feb 21, 2012 at 04:11 PM
    there has been no snow this year to need any salt so of course they will be happy....
  • by Teri on Feb 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM
    I use Hastings Way to go to work everyday. This year I haven't had any issues at all. Somethings working nicely! Good Job! Oh...and the new lighting is beautiful!
  • by anon Location: ec on Feb 21, 2012 at 03:18 PM
    Everyone does realize this is a 1 year arrangement and that salt will be used in the future. SHAME on God for giving us a break! Let's all just be happy it worked out.
  • by yeah... Location: chippewa falls on Feb 21, 2012 at 02:47 PM
    of course Hastings Way has been okay without salt - there has been very little snow and ice this winter.
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