TECHNOLOGY USED DURING WINTER ROAD MAINTENANCE
Removing snow and ice from Ontario’s roadways is a cumbersome job. To prioritize operations the province uses several cutting-edge technologies to monitor roadway conditions, apply advanced deicing solutions, track vehicles, and keep conditions safe. Many people don’t realize just how much technology and strategy go into the process of clearing Ontario’s roads. Here are a few ways Ontario ensures snow and ice are removed quickly and efficiently in an environmentally responsible way.
Advanced Road-Weather Information System
In Ontario, there are approximately 141 information stations that forecast weather patterns and highway conditions in their designated areas. They also monitor local conditions on a 24/7 basis. Based on the data the system provides, road crews can make informed decisions about what equipment and materials are required. Road and maintenance crews are also alerted to changing circumstances as storms progress so they can adjust their inventory or equipment as needed.
Direct Liquid Application
If snowfall is predicted by road-weather information systems, trucks may respond by spraying an anti-icing liquid on roads beforehand. This liquid prevents ice from forming on roads by breaking the bond between the pavement and ice.
Furthermore, anti-icing liquid is sprayed in areas that are prone to icing or have a high risk of freezing, such as highways and bridges. There are even bridges with automated systems that spray anti-icing liquid as soon as specific conditions are met, without crews needing to arrive on-site.
Pre-wetted salt is road salt mixed with an anti-icing liquid to form a brine solution. This breaks up ice and snow faster than an applying dry road salt. The brine sticks to the road’s surface, which helps melt ice more quickly and reduces the need for re-applications. The result is a safer roadway and savings on salt inventory.
Electronic Spreader Controls
Snow removal contractors and operators easily adjust their truck’s spreader with electronic spreader controls. Truck operators can set the rate of spray with these controls and automatically modify levels according to the speed of the truck. As the truck slows, the spray slows, and vice versa. These controls allow for a high degree of precision to save on material costs.
Global Positioning and Remote Data Collection Tools
This system is installed in many salt trucks and other winter maintenance equipment. The GPS capability allows management to track the equipment’s location and speed. Based on this instant information, management can dispatch for more help where it’s needed. This real-time monitoring ensures that road teams are efficiently covering all grounds on their route.
Permanent Variable Message Signs
If you’ve ever driven on an Ontario highway, you’ll be familiar with permanent variable message signs. These signs display safety information to drivers without imposing a distraction. Each sign displays local information about upcoming traffic, poor road conditions, and inclement weather. Relevant information might include warnings to drivers about reduced visibility caused by an incoming storm, or reminders about safe driving practices based on actual conditions the drivers are facing.
The combination of road salt and state-of-the-art technology results in safer roads for Ontarians, especially during snowstorms. Don’t wait to stock up on your road salt this winter! Contact Draglam Salt or call us at our 24-hour Salt Hotline: 1-888-907-SALT for your bulk salt order and delivery.