Idaho Testing Corrosion Inhibitor in De-Icing Salt

By Tom Bacon

Idaho highway engineers are testing an additive for their standard de-icing salt brine. The Idaho Transportation Department now uses plain old salt in their effort to keep roads and bridges free of ice in the winter months. But they're getting some pushback because the solution is corrosive. Moreover, salt tends to attract deer and other wildlife to the roadways.

So in Bonner County this winter, the department is trying out an additive which has been found to reduce corrosion in other snow-heavy midwestern states. Idaho highway department trucks are being fitted with painted metal washers, which will be weighed and measured next spring. They'll be compared to similar washers installed on vehicles in Benewah County which will use the un-modified salt brine solution.

The state uses salt to de-ice roads because it's effective and cheaper than other methods. But Bonner County commissioners urged the state to stop using salt brine because of its corrosive power and because more and more drivers have complained about damage to their vehicles.
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