Halt the salt? WSU studies ‘green’ winter road technology

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Researchers at Washington State University are working on environmentally friendly ways that use less salt to reduce snow and ice on roads.

The Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climate is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is a collaborative effort between WSU, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and Montana State University.

Roadways made slippery by snow and ice are a big problem in the northern United States. According to The Salt Institute in Alexandria, Virginia, about 17 million tons of deicing salt is applied to roadways in the U.S. each year.

There are growing concerns about the impact of salt and chemical deicers on the environment.

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4 comments

  • spot

    Use highway grant money to modify road requirements and use solar panels to activate thermostatic controlled electric heating pads within the road surface keeping the surface temperature of the roads above freezing. Cost savings from salt spreading and salt procurement augments cost of new road construction and road repair. No more black Ice, no more snow on the road. Start with the government roads to realize actual cost savings over time. if it works then no snowplows on the highways/freeways making the commutes better.

  • CBP

    Salt does a lot of damage to culverts, concrete , rebar, steel and other traffice divices that weakens structures to the point of collapse. That’s why I care.

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