Learning from the snow

MASON CITY, Iowa – With no melt in sight, people in our area have been wondering when, and if, the roads will ever get better.

One group of researchers from Minnesota State University Mankato have been using the slick roads and never ending snow storms as a way to jump start a project focusing on road salt.

Students collected samples of road slush to test the salt content and understand what elements are helpful for melting roads and what could be changed to make this product more useful.

Bob Berggren, the Street Department Supervisor for Mason City says that research like this has been done for years and they still haven’t found a viable solution.

That being said, he is hopeful that something does come from this research and says that a development like this could impact their productivity and the way they approach cleaning up after a storm.

If you had a new product that would melt the ice as soon as it went down, that would be great,” Berggren said, “as most people know, salt doesn’t work much at about 20 degrees and if you put too much down, some melts but some freezes so you don’t really want that to happen either.”

The team is also studying how different types of traffic affect ice and snow.

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