COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ROAD SALTING

AT THE CURRENT LEVELS OF SALT USAGE FOR HIGHWAY DE-ICING, THE GAINS TO SOCIETY APPEAR TO BE FAR LESS THAN THE COSTS. MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE BENEFITS ARE IMMEDIATE, WHILE COSTS SUCH AS THE POLLUTION OF WATER SUPPLIES AND DAMAGE TO VEGETATION AND HIGHWAY STRUCTURES MAY ACCRUE OVER RELATIVELY LONG PERIODS OF TIME. ALTHOUGH IT WAS SHOWN THAT THE COST IN TERMS OF AUTOMOBILE DEPRECIATION ALONE EXCEEDS THE BENEFITS DUE TO REDUCED TRAVEL COSTS, THIS DOES NOT NECESSARILY IMPLY THAT ALL SALTING SHOULD BE DISCONTINUED. RATHER, ONE IS INTERESTED IN APPLYING SALT UNTIL THE GAINS FROM THE LAST TON APPLIED ARE JUST BALANCED BY THE ADDITIONAL COSTS INCURRED. GIVEN THE FINDINGS IN THIS STUDY, IT APPEARS THAT THE USE OF SALT FOR DE-ICING SHOULD BE CURTAILED. THE EXTENT OF THE REDUCTION CAN BE DETERMINED ONLY THROUGH A MORE DETAILED AND COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE VARIOUS BENEFITS AND COSTS.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Boston College

    Environmental Affairs
    Boston, MA  USA 
  • Authors:
    • ANDERSON, R C
    • Auster, C
  • Publication Date: 1974

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 128-44
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 3
    • Issue Number: 1

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00219191
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 26 1974 12:00AM