Cold temperatures prove problematic for salting roads

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (12/12/2017) - Michigan Department of Transportation has a mountain of salt at their disposal and several trucks to distribute it to help clear Michigan roads of snow and ice.

“As temperatures drop down to the mid-teens and colder than that salt actually loses its effectiveness,” MDOT Associate Region Engineer Gregg Brunner said.

As freezing temperatures hit Mid-Michigan, crews are cautious about putting salt on the roads.

“The amount of salt you put down will actually result in melting less ice out there,” Brunner said.

They'll add an extra chemical, which gives the salt a green tint. Brunner said this is their best chance at stopping moisture on the roads from refreezing.

“Liquid calcium chloride mix and that calcium chloride will actually melt snow at lower temperatures. So, not only does it initiate the ice melting faster, but it also helps at working at our lower temperatures,” Brunner said.

All that could be blown away if the winds are powerful enough.

“The salt does melt the snow and ice there and actually turns the roadway somewhat wet and the blowing snow on top can cause things to refreeze faster based on these cold temperatures we are seeing today,” said Brunner.

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