Tippecanoe County Prepares for Winter Roads

With the winter's first snowfall earlier this morning, WLFI talks with an expert on how the roads are cleared.

Posted: Dec 16, 2020 10:09 PM

TIPPECANOE CO, Ind. (WLFI) - This morning, December 16, residents woke up to snow on the ground and of course, the roads.

As much as it is fun, it also provides an extra hazard for driving.

Greater Lafayette is prepared for the snow, according to West Lafayette Street Commissioner Ben Anderson.

"Last year was a mild winter, and we have an abundance of salt," Anderson said.

"I have 450 tons (of salt) sitting in outside of our barn."

The city bids on salt in spring and estimates how much they will need. Because of the leftover salt, they could order less than usual. Last year they ordered around 1,600 tons. This year, just 800.

Salt isn't the only resource West Lafayette uses to combat icy roads. Last year, WLFI reported on an organic solution called IBC "Ice-b-gone" magic. The organic solution uses a byproduct of Vodka and is affective down to -30 degrees, where as salt brine alone is affective down to 15 degrees.

Depending on weather conditions, different ratios of brine to IBC are calculated for the most efficient way to clear roads.

"It really is a science," Anderson said.

"It all matters on road temperature, humidity, air temperature, all those things can really affect how well salt will work or not work."

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A windy and chilly day is expected. Tonight could be the coldest night of the season so far.
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