Another winter storm has arrived in eastern Idaho and that means the roads can be treacherous. ITD does their best to keep up during these trying times and they are doing it more efficiently than ever before.
Salt from the Great Salt Lake, fresh water from the eastern Idaho mountains, together they form a defense that is making our roads safer than ever.
“It breaks the bond on the ice forming on the asphalt which helps us fight the storm,” said Mark Porter, Operations Foreman for ITD District 5. As you can see now, it’s snowing and our roads are wet because of our pretreatment effort.”
The mixture has a salt content of 23 percent. ITD meets with the National Weather Service multiple times a week. They also collect their own information at the numerous weather stations and cameras they are spread throughout the state. From there, they can determine how much of the brine mix needs to be used and what areas need it the most.
“Those efforts save us time,” said Porter. “They save us money. We are not grinding blades down on the road from plowing snow off. We can fight it more effectively and more efficiently.”
Despite all the safety improvements, it’s still important to use caution while driving and it all starts with patience.
“We’re out there trying to do a good thing and if you guys are aware, we’re aware, I think that will reduce a lot of accidents just staying clear,” continued Porter. “And if you are not in a hurry, hangout behind the plow until you can get a good clear opportunity to pass and just be safe about it.”
District 5 produces the brine mix in Pocatello and in Soda Springs. On busy days they can send a semi load to a location closer to the plows. They still keep some gravel on hand but in the meantime it looks like the days of the crushed cinder red toned roads are behind us.
ITD District 5 also supplies the brine mix to other communities to use on their streets.