Using salt to keep roads clear works very well down to approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It will also work at lower temperatures, but it requires higher volumes and becomes less cost effective. When the temperature gets extremely low state agencies tend to plow the roads, rely on abrasives, and/or use high volumes of salt. In more urban areas with high traffic volumes, abrasives are ineffective and other strategies result in the over usage of salt, equipment, and manpower. Additional strategies need to be identified for maintaining both low and high-volume roads in extreme temperatures.
The goal of this project was to review best management practices for maintaining clear roads at extremely low temperatures and develop some cost effective strategies for achieving and maintaining bare/dry roadway conditions in extreme temperatures.
The final report compiled strategies for winter maintenance during extreme cold that have been used by DOTs and other jurisdictions.