Dubuque's new system for keeping drivers safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's new system for keeping drivers safe

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- The city has a new system this year for keeping ice off the roads.

Public Works foreman Brian Odefey said the system, "makes salt brine so much more faster than our old system, and we're able to mix in other chemicals. It's actually going to be cheaper for us. We're going to be able to put down more liquid, faster."

Sewer and street maintenance supervisor John Klostermann said the city used to use one mixture of salt brine, an ag liquid comprised largely of beet juice and a liquid calcium blend to combat ice.

However, the new system allows the city to blend different amounts of each chemical into the liquid that goes onto the streets, depending on pavement temperature.

"Instead of just using one liquid, it becomes more cost-effective if we blend it ourselves," Klostermann said.

"We used to run a lot of calcium before, which we bought, which was expensive," Odefey said. "The calcium helps with the colder temperatures, but now we can run 90 percent salt brine, instead of running straight calcium."

Klostermann said the new liquid blender is only one tool for keeping ice off streets.

"We'll still be out de-icing with salt, as in the past," he said.

1,800 tons of salt are ready, though Klostermann said the city goes through an average of 7,000 tons over the course of a winter.

The Iowa Department of Transportation said using cruise control in icy conditions slows a driver's reaction time.

Call 511 to check road conditions or check out www.511IA.org.

Online Reporter: Becca Habegger

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