The frequent winter storms in recent weeks have kept state crews busy fighting ice and snow on the roadways.
Iowa Department of Transportation winter operations manager, Annette Dunn, says even though they’ve been busy, they still have plenty of the main material used to melt away problems.
“We are currently about 90-percent full in our salt sheds, which is really good for this time of year,” Dunn says.
“What we’ve tried to do is maintain a high level of materials in our sheds. As these frequent events keep coming at us, we want to be sure we have the materials that we need.”
Dunn says they use salt in a variety of ways — including salt brine that’s put down before storms, and it is also used to help other materials do a better job. “We pre-wet a dry material like rock salt or sand, and what it does, it allows it to stick to the roadway and not bounce off the roadway,” Dunn explains.
“You can imagine if you bounce a hard piece of material on the road, it’s going to roll off. So the best practice for us is really to pre-wet that and make it stick.” Dunn says they use far more salt than sand when treating state highways during winters storms.