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For the first time in decades, all Madison residential streets to be salted

MADISON (WKOW) — The Madison Streets Division will apply salt to all residential streets for the first time in decades.

“Today is definitely an extraordinary event for us,” said Madison Streets Division spokesperson Bryan Johnson.

“This extraordinary action is necessary due to the persistent layer of ice on many streets and the likelihood of a major winter storm arriving Monday evening,” Streets Superintendent Charlie Romines said in a post to the city website Monday.

“This is likely the first time that all Madison streets have been directly salted since the salt route policy was instituted in the 1970s,” Romines said. “The unprecedented decision to salt each street in Madison was made after it became apparent that sand/salt mixture previously spread on residential streets was not effective in breaking through the ice layer on the roads.”

Romines did clarify that residential streets will not be salted as heavily as the usual salt routes. He said that residential streets will receive one-third less salt per lane mile and only the middle of each street will be covered.

Johnson also said the city is being careful with the additional salting due to the environmental impact, and they’re only salting everything because they have to.

“Our standard operating procedure is 300 pounds per lane mile on the salt routes,” Johnson said. “So in these residential side streets, we’re going down to about 200 pounds per lane mile.”

He says that should be enough salt to break through the layers of winter weather that have been dumped on Madison over the last week.

“That ice underneath that deep snow, even our big plow trucks probably couldn’t get traction on that slick surface,” Johnson said. “So we’re putting that salt down to break it all up so we can push it all back to the curb.”

Salt spreading on residential streets started Monday morning and is expected to finish before the winter storm arrives Monday night, according to Romines.

27 News forecasts snow will move in from the south between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Monday evening, covering the Madison area by midnight. The snow could be quite heavy at times. The snowfall will continue through Tuesday and may accumulate as much as eight inches.

For additional information about winter policies, visit the city of Madison winter website,


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