March 4, 2024

Weather News Road Conditions

Weather News & Forecast

Maryland road crews stripe with salt ahead of winter storm

3 min read

Crews say the brine mixture can be four times more effective than salting after snow as long as rain doesn’t wash it away first.

FREDERICK, Md. — Freshly striped with salt. 

Friday night from northern Virginia through D.C. and into northern Maryland, roads showed the signs of crews trying to stay ahead of the coming winter weather.

“What that is is about 26% salt and the rest is water,” said Charlie Gischlar with the Maryland State Highway Administration. Gischlar says the mixture is applied when crews are confident rain won’t wash it away before snow arrives. 

“It’s allowed to dry and what that does is leave a film behind and stop that initial bonding of snow or ice,” said Gischlar who added using salt before a snow event can be four times more efficient than trying to melt falling snow or ice with salt. 

RELATED: Winter driving safety: 5 Fast Facts

In parts of Fredrick County, Maryland, road crews are prepared to plow even if they’ve never had to before.

The county says close to half of its employees have fewer than five years of experience and have yet to work a snow event like the one that could come Saturday.

And the public could be out of practice, too, said Charlie Gischlar.

RELATED: FORECAST: A Saturday storm will bring snow, ice and heavy rain

His advice: if you have to go out give the plows extra room.

“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve…the biggest thing to do if you have to go out is to slow down,” Gischlar said. 

Emphasis on the “if you have to.”

Gischlar and crew leaders across the DMV we heard from today said they are grateful this system is coming through on a weekend and they hope most people will be able to stay off the roads.

RELATED: Timeline of the weekend winter storm in the DMV

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2024-01-06 04:48:09

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