CDOT plans to use a new brine pre-treating agent on Colorado Springs roads this winter

C-DOT's Region Two includes 14 southeastern counties. More than 220 employees maintain the nearly 7,700 highway lane miles on about a $7.5 million budget, which is why having updated equipment is so important./ FOX21 News
CDOT's Region Two includes 14 southeastern counties. More than 220 employees maintain the nearly 7,700 highway lane miles on about a $7.5 million budget, which is why having updated equipment is so important. / FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — With wintry conditions causing late starts for some schools earlier this week, the Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to bow to the plow.

On Wednesday, November 1, they showed off all the new technology that will help them clear thousands of miles of roadways more efficiently.

CDOT’s Region Two includes 14 southeastern counties. More than 220 employees maintain the nearly 7,700 highway lane miles on about a $7.5 million budget, which is why having updated equipment is so important.

Maintenance Supervisor Brad Bauer said, “Everything we’re seeing now and talking to meteorologists and the National Weather Service, it looks like it’s going to be cold and dry.”

Bauer, who has worked for CDOT for 17 years, says about average snowfall is expected, but for the first time this year the state will use a brine on the roads — a liquid that goes down several hours before the snow starts to fall.

According to Bauer, brine is literally salt and water plus some inhibitors to avoid corrosion.

“We’ve been using brine out in La Junta and Lamar for probably two or three years now. The big thing is cost savings,” said Bauer.

CDOT employees actually make the brine themselves. They say it’s cheaper than magnesium chloride, which is what they’ve used in the past, but it’s also easier on your paint job.

“This will be the truck to do it, this is a 6,000-gallon capacity of the tanker so when it gets spraying, it sprays all three lanes at once,” said Maintenance worker Mark Pennington.

It sprays a lot — 40 gallons per lane mile.

Pennington said, “Say you’re in the center lane, this would be the spray nozzles that would shoot in the left lane.”

Once the snow starts to stick, that’s when things get hairy.

Pennington has also been with CDOT for 17 years. He says it’s something he sees far too often — people passing on the right of a plow.

“Everybody is in rush you know, I get it, you want to get to places you need to be but just slow down while it’s bad and let us do our job and we’ll get you there,” said Pennington.

You can check road conditions using the number 511 or the Colorado Trip website.

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