Cold Roadways Could Be More Dangerous Than They Look

MnDOT Officials Warn that Road Salt Doesn't Melt Snow and Ice in Extreme Cold

DULUTH, Minn. – MnDOT officials are saying just because roadways look clear of ice and snow, they may be more dangerous than they appear.

When temperatures drop below fifteen degrees, salt stops being effective in melting snow.

In colder conditions, MnDOT mostly relies on sand to provide traction on icy roads.

They also use potassium acetate on bridges, tunnels, and ramps, but the chemical is too expensive to use on all roadways, so icy conditions are always possible.

“Some people have a false sense of safety thinking that there’s not that much snow on the road, but it’s probably much more dangerous than when we have a foot of snow on the ground because people just don’t have any traction,” said Beth Petrowske, Public Affairs Coordinator at MnDOT.

Officials remind drivers to always check conditions before they hit the roads this winter.