Evaluating Snow and Ice Control Chemicals for Environmentally Sustainable Highway Maintenance Operations

The use of chemicals and abrasives for highway winter maintenance operations is an essential strategy for ensuring a reasonably high level of service, yet the performance of such materials has to be balanced with their potential negative impacts on motor vehicles, transportation infrastructure, and the natural environment. In this context, this work presents a comprehensive and quantitative evaluation of snow and ice control chemicals currently used by various Idaho Transportation Department districts for highway maintenance operations, including rock salts (mainly solid sodium chloride), IceSlicer products (solid sodium chloride with trace amounts of other chlorides), and salt brines. The analysis has been enabled by the utilization of existing lab and field test data along with reasonable assumptions, in the effort to identify environmentally sustainable materials for winter highway operations. Despite its caveats, this case study is the first attempt to incorporate the most up-to-date information into a multicriteria decision making framework for the data-driven, holistic examination of various snow and ice control chemicals used by a maintenance agency.


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  • Accession Number: 01531207
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2014 3:07PM