Crews adjust road treatment for frigid weather

Public Works crews have to alter their road treatments in extremely low temperatures.

Mid-Missouri's first snowfall of the year brought slick roads and frigid temperatures, leaving public works crews to adjust road treatments to make them effective in below-freezing conditions.

Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said salt alone is only effective in temperatures as low as 15-20 degrees. When temperatures dip lower, they have to add calcium chloride to the mix.

That can efficiently treat roads in temperatures as low as negative 15 degrees.

"It not only lowers the effective temperature of the melting agent, but it also helps [the salt] keep from bouncing so bad," Benz said.

"When you spray calcium chloride, especially at your spreader in the back, it will actually keep the salt from bouncing as much when it hits the roadway."

Benz said the calcium chloride does cost extra, but is still relatively cheap.

He added that low visibility from the intensity of the snowfall was an issue for crews Wednesday night.