While most of Michigan experiences more snow than the rest of the country every winter, how we handle it in the south west, east, and Upper Peninsula is different. On the west side of the state you're battling lake effect snow, on the east side it's a little more quiet, and if you love snow- you'll want to hang out in the UP because they have feet of the white stuff piling up all winter long.

Irina Igumnova

So with the wide range of weather we see, you can imagine that we have different ways we handle it, and treating the roadways, across the state. But, you'd be surprised how similarly snow in West Michigan and the UP are handled.

How do they treat the roads in different parts of Michigan?

While the amount used of each thing may differ based on the climate of the state, the way we handle ice and snow on the roads is pretty uniform across the state.

Credit: The City of Grand Rapids via Facebook
Credit: The City of Grand Rapids via Facebook

Any of the roads that start with an M- U- or I- will generally only get salt. However, county roads that are less traveled get a sand salt mix. We used to use brine a lot more, but there was some backlash due to it's impact on the environment.

Why is that? Well, it's partially about environmental impact. Salt can be harmful to our waterways and creatures that live in them, so by keeping as much salt away from the waterways as we can, we can help preserve their habitat and still keep our roadways safe.

Snow plow on the road

There are also parts of the east side of the state who have tried beet juice as an alterntative, although it's a little more expensive. So, don't expect to see pink piles of snow on the side of the road anytime soon.

So you may see different techniques applied across the state based on the weather event, but as a whole we do the same thing no matter where you're located.

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Gallery Credit: Laura Hardy