Ever wonder what all those multiple narrow white lines are on the roads before a snow event and what they are for? The Crow Wing County Highway Department uses many techniques for snow and ice control, including one called anti-icing.
Anti-icing is a process of mixing salt and water together to create a salt water brine solution. The highway department applies the brine solution to roads in multiple narrow line patterns leaving small untreated gaps between the lines. The untreated gaps are to improve your vehicle's traction by allowing the tires to stay in contact with the road's surface.
Anti-icing efforts begin two to 48 hours before a snow event. This allows time for the narrow salt brine lines to dry and bond to the road.
As the snow begins to fall, the salt from the brine solution melts the snow. If the snowfall becomes too great for the salt to melt it, the salt creates a layer between the snow and the road's surface. This layer helps prevent the snow from bonding to the road's surface, improving our chances of removing snow and ice from the roadway.
The highway department utilizes the anti-icing process as early and as often as possible. Unfortunately anti-icing is not as effective when road temperatures fall below 15 degrees or if snow is swirling and blowing across the road.
The next time you see a multiple white line pattern on the road you will know the Crow Wing County Highway Department is using one of its many techniques to fight the snow before it even starts.