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Old December 20th, 2008, 05:40 AM   #1
hkskyline
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Salting Your Highways in the Winter?

State agency hopes new software saves road salt
25 November 2008

VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) - High road salt prices have prompted state highway crews to turn to a new software program to stretch salt supplies further and save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The software pairs real-time weather and road condition data with a winter storm's snowfall potential to calculate how much road salt is needed to combat slick conditions on a particular section of roadway.

The Indiana Department of Transportation hopes it can help the agency save hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of salt by allowing more accurate determinations of when trucks need to be sent out to treat roads.

"This will actually allow us to tailor the amount of salt we put on the road to the actual storm itself. It will help us know when to get out and when to go home," Andrew Carter, an INDOT maintenance field engineer, told the Vincennes Sun-Commercial.

The program uses real-time weather information, the 24-hour forecast as well as data from outdoor sensors that track pavement temperature, air temperature, the rate of snow accumulation, humidity and wind speed.

INDOT drivers can also input into the system descriptions of road conditions as they move along a particular roadway plowing snow and spreading salt.

All of the information loaded into the program can be accessed by INDOT managers via the Internet. It's broken down hourly and constantly updated for the most accurate forecasts.

Carter said the goal is to save INDOT one to two loads -- at about seven tons per load -- of salt per season, or about $500,000.

He said all INDOT subdistricts are using the program this year. The software was tested in the Columbus and Monticello subdistricts before it was rolled out across the state. Carter said 14 states now use it.

Cher Goodwin, an INDOT spokeswoman, said that while many U.S. communities are scrambling to find salt this year, the state highway department has plenty of salt in storage. She said the price of road salt has risen from about $46 per ton last year to $52 a ton this year.

"We had more ice-based storms last year, which means we had to use more salt," she said.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #2
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We do salt them often, to prevent the wet road deck from freezing. Unfortunately they don't salt the bike path to my school, which is a real pain in the ass
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Old December 20th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #3
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This is a photo i'd taken while in the UK last week

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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #4
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Salt for toll motorways is stored in such "chapels":



www.autostrada-a2.pl
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Old December 20th, 2008, 11:12 AM   #5
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They do that too in the Netherlands, they really put enourmous amounts of salt on every roadways including residential streets and cycle lanes if it is forecast to freeze just below zero. A tad too much in my opinion, because people don't know how to drive in real icy conditions anymore. However, your car is dirtier than dirty after driving on mega-salted roads. I once could barely look through my windshield anymore because I ran out of that stuff you spray on your window.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #6
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Maybe there should be used some kind of granulate, salt is not good for car either
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Old December 20th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #7
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Salting Your Highways in the Winter?
In Greece yes, it does... actually when the snow is huge
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Old December 20th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #8
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In Canada I've seen them spread some glycol instead of salt on the 403 highway during winter. An expensive solution, but a lot better for cars and environment.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 04:20 PM   #9
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In Estonia they also use lots and lots of salt, which is not good, IMO, because then you end up with having a kind of a dirty snow soup, which is really unpleasant.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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Greyish pulp...
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Old December 21st, 2008, 07:31 PM   #11
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Here it's below freezing for weeks at a time. Cold weather alone is not justification for salt. They save that for when it snows.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 06:23 AM   #12
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Interestingly enough Ankeny, Iowa used garlic salt on their roads this winter. Check it out:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...,1742019.story
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:49 AM   #13
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Salt salt salt. use it often here. Although London (ontario) uses some brine solution instead.

I think they should stick to plows only if heavy snowfall is falling, and then salt when the storm is over. Honestly, the amount of salt put on the roads is ridiculous around here. Driving on snow-covered roads is a little more slippery, but for pete's sake, putting salt down when it is covered up and rendered useless within 30 minutes in heavy snow, really isn't worth it.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #14
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Iroquois County continues to avoid salt on its roads
8 December 2008

WATSEKA, Ill. (AP) - A shortage of road salt and its subsequent high price this year is leading many Illinois communities and counties to cut back on their road-salting activities as winter moves in.

But that's not the case in Iroquois County. The county highway department there has been on a salt-free diet for years.

County Engineer Joel Moore says Iroquois doesn't use salt on its 336 miles of county roads, which not only saves a lot of money, but preserves its bridges and roads.

Instead of salt, the county uses something called ice sand, which is a little more angular than ordinary sand and increases traction.

Moore says the county is also looking into using cinders or slag from steel manufacturing.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 09:25 PM   #15
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Well, when this happens, salters and sanders and plows become a necessity:



Instead of using rock salt, a brine solution may be sprayed on the roads. This is much more effective and less damaging to the roads, but is much more expensive.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 07:09 PM   #16
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There are quite a few things to say about salt and the use of it here in Norway. First, considerable sections of highway are unsuitable for salt (for instance the rv 3), simply because the temperature gets too low. Below approx -10 centigrade, even salted roads will freeze, and you're left with perfect contitions for skaters... This is also a concern in other areas, if the temperature drops enough. Second, the environment. Third, many people consider "white" winter roads safer than "black": drivers tend to be more careful when faced with something even the biggest idiots understand to be different from summer conditions. Four, cars exposed to salt rust. Nonetheless, salted roads are pretty common, particularly E routes and main roads around the cities.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 08:29 PM   #17
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Salt won't help you much in those conditions. As Elvis77 says, salt will only work at a few degrees below freezing. Quite interesting in fact, in northern Sweden, where salt becomes unnecessary, cars don't have as much rust damage as cars here in Stockholm.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #18
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some bridges, i don't know by name but i sure know that i heard of it, does have heating against freezin' off.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsue View Post
Salt won't help you much in those conditions. As Elvis77 says, salt will only work at a few degrees below freezing. Quite interesting in fact, in northern Sweden, where salt becomes unnecessary, cars don't have as much rust damage as cars here in Stockholm.
maybe that's also because the moisture in the air is more often frozen, so the rusting process can't be done. and ofcourse, much more rain in stockholm.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morsue View Post
Salt won't help you much in those conditions. As Elvis77 says, salt will only work at a few degrees below freezing. Quite interesting in fact, in northern Sweden, where salt becomes unnecessary, cars don't have as much rust damage as cars here in Stockholm.
Excactly the same story in Norway. Salted roads eat cars.

Another rather interesting fact is that fewer people are killed or seriously injured in the wintertime than in the summer, even though you have a higher accident rate.
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