Geothermal Snow-melt System for Bridge Decks (County of Essex, Ontario)

The County of Essex is responsible for the maintenance and construction of 87 bridges. As many freeze-thaw cycles are experienced in our area, Essex County highway bridges are prone to black ice and must be salted on a priority basis for the safety of motorists. However, the long-term effects of this established practice have become obvious. Our wetlands and farmlands are being damaged and our highway bridges require costly deck replacements. A geothermal snow melting or de-icing system is an environmentally-friendly alternative to the common mechanical and/or chemical winter maintenance and is available day and night without a costly stand-by emergency response. A bridge structure which crosses the North Branch of the Cedar Creek within a provincially significant wetland provided an opportunity to be a testing facility to determine the feasibility of utilizing geothermal energy and to assist with the design of other renewable energy systems. The County of Essex used the opportunity provided by the reconstruction of this environmentally-sensitive to pro-actively implement a prototype into the bridge deck. This project was nominated for the TAC 2008 Environmental Achievement Award.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 12 p.
  • Monograph Title: 2009 Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Transportation Association of Canada - Transportation in a Climate of Change

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149358
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transportation Association of Canada (TAC)
  • Files: TAC
  • Created Date: Jan 28 2010 7:26AM