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Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Be safe and have fun!
I had another topic for this blog but driving home for lunch yesterday put me onto an entirely different track.

The last blog was about safe driving and protecting the “family” of other drivers, construction workers, road maintenance crews – everyone.  Having just received about 7 inches of snow from winter storm “Orlena”, both hazardous driving conditions and awesome play conditions were created.  Drive safely but have fun off the road.  This guy below proves that safety is important in every season!



And because it is necessary to insert a fun engineering “fact” into each blog, I have a related fact at the ready.
If you live in the Midwest, have you ever seen “stripes” painted on the road before snow or sleet is expected?  

Our office is in the City of Joliet, and the City uses a combination of salt brine, beet juice and calcium chloride for pre-treatment of roads to help combat the accumulation of snow and ice on the roadway to temperatures as low as minus thirty degrees Fahrenheit.

The de-sugared beet juice used in this mixture was once largely considered waste and dumped down the drain.  Now it is combined with salt brine and used to pre-treat roadways in advance of a storm to disrupt the bond between snow, ice and the roadway, resulting in quicker cleanup of the roads with less negative impact on the environment.

We think our Safety Snowman would approve.

Check out the  Snow Removal page on the City of Joliet’s website.

And scroll down to find Chemicals used in Snow Fighting: 
The City of Joliet utilizes a mixture of rock salt and organic liquids containing sugar beet juice in the fight against snow accumulation and freezing on the roadways. This combination allows for the material to be effective down to a temperature of minus thirty degrees (-30) Fahrenheit. In addition, this mixture will be less corrosive to the streets, vehicles, and vegetation within the City of Joliet. Residents should expect to see a brownish residue on the streets as opposed to the white residue. As with the salt, this material is easily washed off vehicles.
In addition, the City of Joliet will be proactive in their snow fighting with the application of an anti-icing program where the streets are treated with a chemical composition to combat the onset of the accumulation of snow and ice and also prohibit the bond between the snow and ice and the pavement. This will allow for a quicker cleanup of the roadways, while also slowing down the snow/ice accumulation on the roadway. This chemical composition to be used consists of salt brine, beet juice, and calcium chloride. Residents should expect to see this on the main routes throughout the City. As more equipment becomes available this treatment will be expanded to all the streets in the City of Joliet. 







Kristen Hamilton is the Chairman/CEO of Hamilton Consulting Engineers, Inc.