It's pretty self-explanatory that salt melts ice and snow on the roads. When you get into sub-zero temperatures as we have had the last couple of weeks, however, it gets a little dicey. 

Bismarck has used roughly $700,000 dollars for snow removal and is looking at a total of $1.3 million. That's right around the average cost of snow removal for this town. The problem though is the ice.

Jeff Heinze, Director of Bismarck Public Works Service Operations had some things to say about it to the Bismarck Tribune:

“As we plunged into subzero temperatures in February, it was very difficult to remove the ice. The salts we use don’t work well once you get below about 18 degrees,” he said. “We try to use sand to grind the ice off. That’s really about all you can do.

“When you put sand on glare ice, it blows off. It doesn’t want to stay where it’s placed,” he said. “And so passing cars and motor vehicles end up moving the sand away and you have to continue to reapply it.”

There is a chemical they use to apply to the snow and ice when it gets to at least -13 degrees but past that we are on our own.

Jeff Heinze and his crew have done an exemplary job of keeping the roads safe but it's important to drive slow and be aware because as this article is telling you, all bets are off once we get past the -13 threshold and it's happened a number of times already this week.