24 Hours Later, Crews Still Tackling Icy Roads 2-22-2011 - WNEM TV 5

24 Hours Later, Crews Still Tackling Icy Roads 2-22-2011

It was a slick commute for locals early Tuesday morning, a day after a snowstorm hit Mid-Michigan.
Now 24 hours later, TV5 investigated to find out why the road treatments weren’t getting the job done.
“The roads were horrible,” said one person at midday. “I even have four-wheel drive, and I was sliding all over the place.”
“I’ve slid around, oh yeah, my car is rear wheel drive,” said another driver. “It's bad out there.”
VOTE: Are you satisfied with how the road crews are clearing the snow in your area?
Brian Wendling, the managing director at the Saginaw County Road Commission, said road crews have been hard at work, but that this storm has been challenging.
Wendling said they've been forced to use something more than just plows and salt.
“We are putting some liquids down as well, some brine and calcium chlorides just to just to speed the process up to break the ice down and to get things moving a little quicker,” said Wendling.
But what is it about those materials that help make road conditions safer?
“By applying the liquid while spreading the salt, [it] gives it a little bit of sticky, tack[iness],” said Wendling. “[It] has a tendency to stay on the road a little bit better [and] a bit longer.”
The presence of the salt and liquids causes what is known as freezing point depression. That is, salt and liquids help to lower the temperature at which water will freeze.
But, if the temperatures of the roads fall below 20 degrees, the salt can't break down the ice.
This is exactly what Mid-Michigan roads have seen over the past 24 hours.
“We literally have an inch of ice underneath everything that we are trying to contend with now,” Wendling said.
Even though the weather has been fair, with sunshine hitting roadways, slick spots still exists and everyone is urged to drive cautiously.
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