Better Roads

March 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Better Roads March 2014 11 By Tina Grady Barbaccia Applications & Innovations Control Equipment and Techniques for Snowfi ghters Snow & Ice W ith the extreme cold temperatures this past winter, a number of times dropping several degrees below zero, this year's spring pave- ment repair and pothole patching plans will be on a greater scale than in recent years past. Brian Anderson of the Ontario Good Roads Association and member of the American Public Works Association (APWA) Winter Maintenance Committee, says with the ex- treme cold temperatures, he expects to see more pavement break up in the spring because an extended timeframe will be needed for the frost to come out. Butch Riddell, general superintendent for Kansas City, Missouri-based Superior Asphalt, agrees, noting "the winter weather conditions with their extreme warm-cold cycles will lead to accelerated changes to roads across the country. We're already seeing damage in our local infrastructure, which will only increase with the current conditions." The cold weather also not only had an effect on pave- ments but also caused "quite a few" water main breaks in the City of Dubuque, Iowa's distribution system, points out John Klostsermann, street and sewer maintenance supervisor for the city. Salt brine is often applied to roadways as a pre-treatment for approaching winter weather events. This thin layer of salt brine effectively inhibits the otherwise natural bonding of snow and ice to a road's surface. However, salt brine pro- duction can have its limitations, including cost of installing a dedicated facility: transportation of brine to satellite loca- tions; being labor intensive to produce, changing tempera- tures can affect brine accuracy, attaining adequate produc- tion rates and the ability to blend in additives. Salt brine to help cities crippled by winter weather Some Southern and Southwestern states that experience snowfall and major ice storms this winter were "held hos- tage" from the inclement weather. In Atlanta, Georgia, mo- torists were stuck on the road for hours and children were stuck on buses and at school, without parents being able to reach them after 3 inches of snow, much of it turning to ice, totally shut down the this city with very little snow-removal equipment. Professional-grade salt brine making, blending and truck loading systems are being used as a mobile solution for municipalities and state agencies to help prevent such a crip- pling situation. Brian Evans, marketing manager for Henderson, which manufactures a salt brine, says if predictions are correct,

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