Brine solution will make roads safer

Carla Allen
Published on December 6, 2013

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Operations supervisor Bill Thurston with the new tanker brine truck at the Yarmouth depot on the Hardscratch Road.

The water and rock salt solution reduces the chance of snow bonding to the road and can be applied up to 16 hours before a predicted frost or snowfall.CARLA ALLEN PHOTO

A new salt brine product designed to make roads safer this winter will now be used on Yarmouth County roads.

Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal operations supervisor Don Houston says the application will help to clean roads quicker and require less salt.

“It will take less time and use less fuel,” he said.

Anti-icing takes place before ice can form on roadways. It involves applying the salt brine, a liquid solution of water and rock salt, to reduce the chance of snow bonding to the road surface. It can be applied up to 16 hours before a predicted frost or snowfall.

Anti-icing returns road surfaces to normal condition faster and results in fewer accidents and delays. Salt is also used more efficiently and crews can cover more territory. Anti-icing is also better for the environment, as a traditional road salt application can bounce off the road and into surrounding vegetation.

Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal maintenance and operations executive director Barb Baillie says the goal of anti-icing is to prevent slippery conditions for drivers.

"Anti-icing was piloted last year and we saw dramatic results using the salt brine product. Rolling it out province-wide this year will allow us to be proactive in keeping drivers safe on series 100 highways."

The Yarmouth base on the Hardscratch Road depot added two new trucks to its fleet this year, bringing the total to10 trucks, plus two graders.

Travellers are encouraged to check road conditions before heading out by calling 511 or visiting the 511 website. They can also check conditions using provincial highway cameras, available at