When it comes to keeping slick roadways clear, should Boise reconsider its approach to treating icy roads? Sand and salt have both been used for years to keep roads safe during the winter, but which is better?

Sand is safer & reusable.

One of the biggest benefits of using sand over salt is its environmentally-friendly profile. Sand is a naturally occuring resource great at treating icy conditions without compromising the integrity of Boise's surface streets and I-84.

It's also reusable. If Ada County Highway District didn't mind the extra effort, they could sweep up the sand after the snow melts and use it for the next storm. It would be a tedious job for sure, but its a cost-effective and practical option to explore.

Sand has better grip.

Sand does a stellar job at providing traction! Even Bob Vila says so 😏

Salt can melt ice, sure, but it doesn't improve tire grip to help drivers maintain control on steep or slippery roads. Sand can also be used on roads that are too cold for salt to work (like when the temperature drops below 15°F).

Sand over salt is cheaper in the long-run.

Salt is typically cheaper, but that doesn't make it better. Salt corrodes metal, leading to rust on vehicles and infrastructure like bridges, sticking Boise with pricey repairs and replacements later.

Sand keeps the potholes at bay.

Boiseans are regretfully familiar with potholes caused by salt damage. In addition to being a pain for the city to repair, it's a time-consuming and costly job that can disrupt traffic.

And let's not forget about the havoc a monstrous-sized pothole can wreak on cars. If you think Boise will reimburse you for the damages, think again.

So, will Boise make the switch from salt to sand to treat icy roads? Not that it's our call to make, but it sounds like a pretty great option.

Speaking of frosty temps, do you know what's in store for Idaho winter 2023-2024? Scroll on for an idea of what's to come!

3 Idaho Winter 2023-2024 Predictions You Might Hate & 1 You'll Love

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

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Whether you use them regularly or you're planning a road-trip, take a look at how the Gem State's runaway-truck ramps could save your life this winter.

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