St. Louis County Public Works Debuts New Anti-Icing System for Treating Roads

New system can reduce salt us by up to 40%

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Louis County now has a new anti– icing system for roads.

Officials have also purchased new equipment costing around $1.2 million to help pre–treat roads.

This new anti–icing system will not only relieve the stress of icy roads this winter, but St. Louis County Public Works says it’s also more environmentally friendly.

Gour brand new trucks with interchangeable attachments were purchased to implement the pre–treating system.

Each truck will have the capability of holding a 2,500 gallon tank or a salt applicator.

A new brine making machine was also purchased allowing a more environmentally safe road clearing solution.

“It acts almost like a non–stick pan, so basically you are spraying on the roads prior to a storm,” said Highway Maintenance Supervisor Mike Fox.

The solution is a blend of salt brine and a chemical additive that will stick to the roads making it easier to plow.

Public Works officials say it will reduce salt use by up to 40%.

Officials plan to spray the new solution three to five days before an expected storm.

“I think it is going to speed up the process,” said Equipment Operator Dan Zezulka.

“We want to make the roads as safe as possible, so getting this down and making that barrier between the black top and the snow that is coming down is just going to make our life a lot easier,” Zezulka explains.

The new vehicles also come with cautionary signs for safety.

Officials recommend drivers do not pass the trucks, to avoid the brine mixture being sprayed on cars.

The syrup like solution isn’t damaging to vehicles, but it can be very difficult to clean off.

The new equipment and solution are expected to be tested on heavily traveled county roads such as Arrowhead Road, Haines Road, and Martin Road.

Public works officials plan to purchase more trucks for better county coverage in the near future.

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