Establishing Effective Salt and Anti-icing Application Rates


Transportation agencies have been managing their salt and liquid anti-icing applications based on the results of multiple testing efforts over the years, including:

  • FHWA TE 28 Project, ”Manual of Practice for an Effective Anti-icing Program” (1996)
  • NCHRP Report #526, “Snow and Ice Control: Guidelines for Materials and Methods” (2004)
  • NCHRP Report #577, “Guidelines for the Selection of Snow and Ice Control Materials to Mitigate Environmental Impacts” (2007)

In recent years, more sophisticated methods and procedures have been developed in the field of deicing and anti-icing applications. These include the use of slurry, enhanced brine blends, agricultural by-products as inhibitors or adjuvants, and bridge systems (applied by truck or fixed systems). There also has been growing interest in the use of alternatives to chlorides, such as acetates and glycols.

Additionally, the awareness and concern about chloride loading in the environment has caused many agencies to reevaluate their practices with respect to solid and liquid chloride applications. Agencies are being tasked with maintaining historical and expected service levels while optimizing or minimizing the use of chloride-based products.


The goal of this project is to update the guidelines developed in FHWA TE-28 and NCHRP Report #526 to reflect present day challenges and the growing complexity of material use in winter operations. The investigator will not conduct new field testing for this project but will instead rely on formal and informal testing and field experience (including NCHRP report #577) conducted since NCHRP Report #526 was published.


The project validated current guidelines and has provided guidance for a future project to focus on current anti-icing field practices.