In the state of Maine, where snow can make its appearance as early as mid-October and stay around until the first of May, keeping the roads passable in the winter season keeps the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) busy. In 2000, for example, road crews had to deal with 100 inches of snow.
To better respond to storms, three years ago, the DOT began a pilot program of using a salt brine solution on the highway. The solution is made by mixing 2.5 lb of salt per gal of water to make a 23.3% brine solution. It is used from the seat time to the storm event and used in both snow and ice storms. Sprayed directly on the application, the salt brine solution keeps the road wet for about 2 hours, giving the crews a chance to get in and respond to the storm.
Robert Slocum, Highway Maintenance Superintendent, said, "We are using the salt brine solution more extensively. It works better and saves material on our end." For example, using the brine solution has reduced the use of sand significantly for Division 6. Prior to using the solution, the Division put up 44,000 yards of sand. In 2002, it only put up 29,000 yards.