Saturday, December 28, 2002

Verdict out on pretreating roads with brine solution



The Associated Press

LORAIN, Ohio - A winter storm this week gave state officials another chance to evaluate the effectiveness of pretreating roads with a saltwater solution in anticipation of heavy snowfall.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials believe the brine mixture made roads safer.

But the State Highway Patrol said there is still no way to tell.

Patrol Sgt. Glenn Peterson of the Sandusky post said melting some snow by pretreating is helpful.

"But when you have 7 to 8 inches of snow, it's pretty tough to keep the roads clear," he said.

The brine can be used only in temperatures above 25 degrees, because it will freeze and form ice.

"It pretreats the roads up to 36 hours in advance of a snow storm to help us get a jump start on an upcoming storm," Mr. Wasilewski said.

He said the brine isn't a substitute for rock salt.

Rex Conway, a transportation manager at ODOT District 3, said crews hit the roads beginning Tuesday evening. He said his crews have been using brine to pretreat roads since November. It was tried in some places in the state about a year ago.

"It's going to be statewide by next year. We put it on our critical areas like bridges, curves, intersections and hills. We're trying to do it twice a week. I think it's cut accidents on bridges way down," Mr. Conway said.



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