If the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) paid 2011 road salt prices this winter, taxpayers would be footing the bill for an extra $20 million in costs. Instead, ODOT and hundreds of local governments will pay a statewide average of just $35.83 per ton of road salt for the upcoming winter. Compare that to the statewide average of $54.02 paid per ton just two years ago.
This year, state and local governments estimate purchasing 1,118,044 tons (1,014,272 t) of salt.
• At 2011 prices of $54.02 per ton, that’s $60,396,736.88.
• At 2012 prices of $40.91 per ton, that’s $45,739,180.04.
• At 2013 prices of $35.83 per ton, that’s $40,059,516.52.
The difference is an astounding $20,337,220.36 in savings this winter.
“We decided early in this administration to complete a top to bottom review of how ODOT operates and identify ways we could save money,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “This is one result of that review and it’s helping ODOT curb costs, continue to provide a substantial service to the public and put more resources into filling budget holes that are keeping us from building some of the major transportation.”
In years past, salt companies had only one bidding option and were required to provide ODOT with an estimated price per ton of salt, per each of Ohio’s 88 counties. The lowest bid per county won. But in 2012, ODOT changed that and gave salt companies the option to provide bids on entire ODOT districts in addition to individual counties. That has helped to drive down road salt prices.