Deicer helps clear icy roads and increase public safety

Case Studies
Printer-friendly version

Clear roads and safe motorists are heavy wintertime concerns for the city of Burnsville, Minn.

“When we get into extreme cold temperatures and dangerous conditions, public safety is our main concern, and the public benefits by having bare pavement,” said Doug Hartman, street supervisor for the city of Burnsville.

Fortunately for residents in this Twin Cities suburb, Hartman applies an enhanced deicer product that’s a key component for keeping the city’s icy roadways safe and passable.

Through various networking and training opportunities, Hartman discovered Cargill’s ClearLane enhanced deicer and put the product to use during frigid wintertime temperatures.

“At temperatures of 15 degrees and higher, we use regular road salt, but for conditions below 15 degrees, we use the deicer product because it works better and faster than road salt,” he said.

The deicer is a salt product that’s different than raw rock salt because it contains a pre-wetting agent and coloring agent. These chemical additives help keep roads clear by providing a faster reaction time.

“Overall, I’ve seen increased effectiveness in terms of melting, and I know it’s because of the enhanced deicer formula,” he said.

As a result, Hartman noted he’s seen a gradual decrease by the city in the use of salt and an increase in deicer use.

“We’ve gone from using a sand-salt mixture to pure salt. Now that we’re trained in calibrating our trucks and more confident in how we can control applications, we’ve gradually been limiting the use of salt in general and distributing the deicer more and more,” he said.

Even at extremely low temperatures, distributing the deicer is much easier because the product remains free flowing. It also adheres to the road surface more effectively than dry salt, providing more efficient deicing by minimizing scatter from wind and traffic.

And because the product sticks to the road better, the residual effects of the deicer help maintain clear roads for a longer period of time, which increases public safety and saves money.

“We see indirect cost savings associated with using the product, which is definitely a benefit,” Hartman said. “The residual product that’s left after initial applications seems to hold up and react better than regular road salt. And because the product goes straight to work, we see as well a savings in reduced employee overtime and reaction time.”

Last year the city of Burnsville applied 2,500 tons of the deicer over 250 centerline miles of road, keeping the roadways clear and the public safe.

“Our public safety department is very happy with our service,” Hartman said. “They tell me that day in and day out. And even though they don’t realize we’re using a particular deicing product, they’re happy with the results.”

Overlay Init