Snowy roads bring out MoDOTs new tools

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JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri Department of Transportation had the chance to use some new equipment for the snowfall Saturday. 

Randy Aulber, MoDOT's Center District Maintenance Engineer, said that a brining truck has become a part of their toolbox. 

"It basically allows us to lay liquid brine down along our interstates," Aulber said. "We think it will give us a different angle at fighting snow and turning it around a little quicker." 

Brine is water saturated with salt, which MoDOT uses and mixes with beet juice to apply on the roads. It is also an organic solution so it does not harm the environment. 

"It gives us a layer of protection down before any snow comes," Aulber said. "In some manners it can help with removal because it creates a bit of a barrier between the snow and existing pavement."

The brine solution can be applied before a storm and can help activate rock salt to clear roads efficiently. 

"Rock salt in general takes liquid to activate it, so [brine] basically gives us the chance during a storm to activate the salt quicker," Aulber said. 

MoDOT evaluates the weather and prepares basic materials during the summer to be adequately prepared for winter. 

Maintenance staff is on call to respond to inclement weather regardless of the day. 

"Once an event comes or a snow event or whatever the case may be, we basically full staff and we're ready to roll," Aulber said. 

Aulber said while MoDOT does everything it can to keep the roadways clear, it is important for drivers to drive cautiously and be prepared for emergency situations. 

This means driving accordingly to the existing weather conditions, stay focused and have an emergency kit with you. 

"Help put [yourself] in the best condition incase something does arise," Aulber said. 

MoDOT watches numerous weather reports to gather information about possible storms or varying conditions. 

Aulber said he hopes to see positive results after the first use of the brining truck.