Implementation of Salt Brine to Melt Ice and Snow on City Roads

October 23, 2017

Contact: Steven D’Agostino, Director of Public Works          phone: 401-767-9209

Another First for Woonsocket:

“Implementation of Salt Brine to Melt Ice and Snow on City Roads”

WOONSOCKET, R.I.:  Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt announced that for the upcoming winter, the City will be utilizing a “new salt brine program” to help clear its streets from ice and snow. This program will reduce traditional road applications of sand and salt mixtures with a more efficient and environmentally friendly brine solution of salt and water. The brine will work more quickly and efficiently than the traditional sand and salt applications as a pretreatment for roads against inclement weather and because it helps prevent the formation of road ice during a winter storm, snow plowing will be easier. The Mayor asserted that “Woonsocket’s winter roads will be safer and there will be much less damage to surrounding vegetation.  It is a win-win program for our drivers and for our environment.”

“It is my belief that Woonsocket is the first municipality in the State of Rhode Island to utilize this approach.  Special thanks to Director D’Agostino for his forward thinking and his continued dedication and commitment in finding ways to continually the Highway Department and the City of Woonsocket,” stated Mayor Baldelli-Hunt.

According to Steven D’Agostino , Director of Public Works, “The salt brine can be applied onto roads in advance of a forecasted winter storm because the solution dries quickly and does not reactivate until it interacts with moisture from the storm .” Director D’Agostino went on to say, “Traditional mixtures of sand and salt bounce off of roads and both clog storm drains and destroy nearby vegetation. The brine solution sticks to the road much better and is a more effective and cost efficient way to clear ice and snow.”

Mayor Baldelli-Hunt lauded the work of senior mechanics, Jeffrey Masisak and Marc Laforge, who did all of the work “in-house” in getting the City’s existing DPW trucks retrofitted to handle the new salt brine program.  “The talent and dedication of these two gentlemen helped save the City thousands of dollars against what we would have had to spend had we outsourced the retrofitting of our equipment,” exclaimed the Mayor.

“This proactive method of using salt brine to prevent ice and snow from forming on our roads will allow our diligent, public works snowplowing crews to more quickly get ahead of a winter storm and to better be able to stay ahead of it,” said Mayor Baldelli-Hunt.  “We are hopeful winter driving will be less treacherous in Woonsocket and spring cleanups for our road crews and residents will be less difficult,” the Mayor added.