La Crosse Co. hopes to ‘slice’ ice with new salt

'Ice Slicer' works at temps as cold as 0 degrees

La Crosse County is looking for more bang for its buck when it comes to its road salt reserves.

Beginning next year, the county will be using a new type of salt called “Ice Slicer.”

The mix comes from a rock salt mine in Utah and county officials say it’s been shown to perform better than the white salt they’ve been using, with the added benefit of leaving behind less chloride in the environment.

La Crosse County Highway Commissioner Ron Chamberlain says the “Ice Slicer” mix can also be effective in much colder temperatures than regular salt.

“What we’re looking at is anywhere from 15 to 20 degrees of additional temperature bandwith,” said Chamberlain. “So we’re looking down at that 0 to 5 degree temperature instead of around 20 for conventional road salt.”

Chamberlain says the county currently pays about $71 per ton of salt.

The “Ice Slicer” costs $125 per ton, but Chamberlain says it ends up being a better investment because they can use between a third to half as much salt as they do now.