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Too cold for road salt - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Too cold for road salt

Colchester, Vermont - December 29, 2009

The winter weather made for some dangerous road conditions Tuesday.

Heavy snowfall and quickly-dropping temperatures meant ice was frozen to many road surfaces. Cars spun out or went off the roads in some places. It was too cold for rock salt to even melt ice. Crews say normal salt works best when temperatures are in the 20s.

"This has been a very, very difficult, very complicated storm. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, it's like holding a wolf by the ears: you can't safely hang on and you can't safely let go. In this case, it's too cold for the salt to work and the wind's blowing so hard the sand won't stay on the road," explained Gil Newbury of the Vt. Transportation Agency.

Vermont transportation officials are putting additives into a liquid brine hoping the experiment works better than salt to melt ice in the bitter cold. The transportation agency says hills on Route 7 were some of the most difficult roads to manage.

Jack Thurston - WCAX News

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