Street Division Updates Anti-Icing Method

Division Switches from Beet Juice to AMP

With public safety as priority, Marshfield Street Division is continually improving how streets are treated during (and even before) a snow event takes place. The latest change is progressively switching from beet juice to a solution called “AMP”.

“We switched from beet juice to AMP for a couple of reasons,” said Kurt Bornbach, Assistant Street Superintendent. “The cost of AMP and beet juice is the same. AMP reduces the corrosiveness of sodium chloride (salt) more than beet juice. AMP has finer solids in suspension which eliminates the need for tank recirculation, and eliminates filter plugging on application trucks. AMP bonds to the pavement better than beet juice which gives a better residual effect, extending the time when anti icing is effective.”

“We have not totally gone away from beet juice, a product that has benefits much like AMP, but as we learn more about the characteristics of AMP and the way it performs, we may,” he added.

In an effort to improve response times and to help better avoid snow problems, in the past two years, the division has implemented a new system called “anti-icing.”

“The County has been doing this for years in higher traffic areas, such as in traffic intersections and on bridges- places more likely to have accidents,” said Bornbach, adding that the County doesn’t do all of the road because of higher traffic and increased speeds that help dissipate the snowfall.

Even though the same basic chemicals and components are used, anti-icing and pre-wetting are completely different methods.

Anti-icing is when a solution is applied before a storm begins, preventing bond formation between ice/snow and the road. Anti-icing has been making a significant impact on response times to snow and ice storms.

“The biggest benefit is you get that salt underneath, and when it starts snowing, it forms a brine and it keeps the snow from binding to the pavement (if there is a lot of snow),” explained Bornbach. “If there is not a lot of snow, it can even melt it.”

With 321.2 lane miles in the City of Marshfield, the division is currently anti-icing about 175 lane miles, including major thoroughfares such as Central Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Oak Avenue, Peach Avenue, and 29th Street, which account for upwards of 60% of day traffic.

“With the addition of our brine maker in March, we have expanded our anti icing program because we have a readily available supply of salt brine,” added Bornbach. “We are now anti icing 175 lane miles. Previously we were limited to the 90 lane miles because of our storage capacity and availability of brine from Wood County.”

Along with making roads safer, there are cost savings to the new anti-icing method, a result of less salt usage and reduced need for overtime.

For example, the division anti-iced on a Friday before a snowstorm started. After the snowfall, one worker was called in to conduct spot de-icing. Without anti-icing, the division would have needed approximately six overtime workers to help clear the roads.

With every snow event, the division keeps careful records to better analyze cost and potential cost savings.

Summary and Additional Information:

Anti-Icing is Proactive
-Application of deciding chemicals prior to storm
-Prevents bonding of snow and ice to pavement
-Reduces the freeze point of water

Pre-Wetting (De-Icing) is Reactive
-Application of de-icing chemical during/after the storm
-Bonding of snow and ice to the pavement
-Increased use of resources
-Use 4 times more material to de-ice

Benefits of Liquid Anti-icers
-Reduced bonding of snow and ice
-Environmentally friendly compared to sand
-Less material cleanup
-Cost effective
-Reduced chemical usage
-Allows users to get ahead of the storm