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The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) was out today preparing the roads for the snowfall they expect tomorrow. A new salt brine solution was used that is expected to save money and keep the roads clearer longer, according to a news release from RIDOT.
â€śThis is the first time weâ€™ve ever done it,â€ť said Charles St. Martin, spokesperson at RIDOT.
The solution is created in a brine maker that combines fresh water with salt until it reaches a 23 percent level of salinity. For purpose of comparison, Joe Baker of RIDOT explained that seawater typically has a 5 percent level of salinity.
The solution is then sprayed onto the roadway prior to a snowstorm. According to St. Martin, they can apply the treatment up to three days ahead.
â€śWhen we put salt down, if we just spread it in as a solid salt, it bounces all over the place just like it does on your plate. By wetting it, it gets stickier and stays down and then it starts dissolving right away,â€ť explained Baker.
When the salt liquefies in a solution, â€śthatâ€™s when the salt actually starts to de-ice or anti-ice what is on the roadway,â€ť he added.
According to St. Martin, upon application, the road will appear wet for some time before evaporating. Then, a thin layer of salt will remain to prevent snow or ice from bonding with the pavement.
The full story will be tomorrow's Times.