This year's unrelenting winter was a costly one for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which spent more than $90.5 million on labor, equipment and material clearing snow from the roads.

That was two times as much as the department spent during the winter of 2011-12.

The department finally closed its books on the winter of 2012-13 this week and the numbers reveal that the amount of salt poured on roads was also double from the winter of 2011-12. Crews used 304,555 tons of salt in this winter compared with 154,072 tons in 2011-12. The usage was 47 percent above the five-year average, said MnDOT state engineer Steve Lund.

In some places in Minnesota, MnDOT ran out of salt and had to truck salt in from places that still had some.

In the Twin Cities, snowfall topped out at 67.7 inches compared to the paltry 22.3 inches that fell in 2011-12. That higher total and the late-season snowfalls meant higher costs and more work to keep the state's 12,000 miles of roads clear.

"The good news is that the easy winter of 2011-12 ws the first i the state's 2-year funding cycle, so we weer able to leverage second-year funding for what Mother Nature threw at us during the 2012-13 season," Lund said.


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