DPW to Pilot a New Way to Treat Icy Streets in North Cambridge

Brine Truck on Dudley St.

This winter, the Department of Public Works is piloting a program in North Cambridge to treat icy road surfaces using a brine solution of salt and water. A 250-gallon tank in the back of a truck sprays the solution on streets in advance of a predicted storm, creating a layer that prevents snow and ice from bonding with the surface. This process offers protection against ice formation, but uses only a quarter of the salt that is normally used in treating these areas. Instead of seeing actual salt crystals, residents in the Dudley Street neighborhood and along Alewife Linear Park can expect to see faint stripes running down the roadway a day prior to a predicted storm.

One of the goals of this pilot is to reduce the amount of overall salt used, but there will likely be times when a brine solution isn’t the most effective option for keeping roads safe.  “This brine pilot is just one of the many tools in our toolbox,” says Department of Public Works Commissioner, Owen O’Riordan. “If temperatures are rising above 32 degrees or if there is rain before the storm, the brine solution may not be as effective and we will use other products to keep the roads safe. We are hopeful that we can expand this pilot in the future as another way of dealing with icy road conditions.”

Are you ready for winter weather? Be sure to check out the City’s updated Snow Center for everything snow-related in Cambridge- www.cambridgema.gov/snow

Page was posted on 1/7/2019 3:46 PM
Page was last modified on 2/4/2020 3:43 PM
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