Snow Removal at Extreme Temperatures

Extremely cold winter storms (below about 10°F) bring about different considerations for taking care of roads than warmer winter storms, where granular salt and salt brine are cost-effective measures of melting snow and ice when used in combination with other operations (e.g., plowing). At temperatures lower than about 10°F, either extremely large quantities of salt are needed or no amount of salt can melt snow or ice pack. Best practices for using chemicals during extremely cold winter storms include: waiting until the end of the storm, using deicers in daylight hours only, mixing salt with MgCl2, CaCl2, and/or agriculture by-products, and using high application rates. Despite their environmental and hidden costs (air pollution, sedimentation, spring cleanup & disposal), abrasives are frequently used during extreme temperatures to provide temporary traction. Best practices for using abrasives during severe cold includes prewetting with liquid deicers (although not plain salt brine - it may freeze) or hot water. Innovative strategies continue to be tested at severe temperatures, including conductive pavements and geothermal systems, which have demonstrated to be potentially effective tools.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 80p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01481619
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Project 99085/CR11-04, Pooled Fund #TPF-5(218)
  • Created Date: May 16 2013 3:02PM