What's The Truth About Montana And Salting The Roads?

Every notice how sometimes the things your parents say to you stick with you, even if they seem pretty small or insignificant?

Growing up in South Dakota my dad always told me to never buy a car from Minnesota because they used salt on the roads.

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The reason behind his statement was that the salt used on their roads would rust the underneath of car, and it was easy to tell if a car was from Minnesota, just look for all the rust.

I'm sure my dad would rather some of his other nuggets of wisdom stuck with me more than this one.

It's why when I moved to Montana I was happy to find out that they didn't use salt to keep the roads free of ice, but is that really the truth?

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A toy dump truck with a tiny load of salt
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Montana Actually Does Salt It's Roads

That's right, Montana does use salt to keep the roads free of ice in the winter.

In fact, it's something the state has done for almost 30 years as well.

According to the Upper Missouri Waterkeeper, a non-profit based out of Bozeman, the state gets a jump start on the roads even before the snow falls

Before a winter storm arrives or in the early stages of a storm, the Montana Department of Transportation pretreats roads with chemicals to prevent snow and ice pack from accumulating. The liquid de-icing agent used is a mixture of magnesium, sodium chlorides, and corrosion-inhibiting chemicals.

Like antifreeze, chlorides work by lowering the freezing temperature of water to prevent ice from forming a strong bond to the road. The result is safer, faster winter travel for motorists.

Thankfully the mixture used in Montana won't cause near the damage that my dad used to talk about, but give your car a bath once in a while just in case.

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