Combatting icy road conditions with warm water and sand

  • Soort:Nieuws Fietsberaad
  • Datum:11-02-2013

Sand and warm water are tested as a means to treat icy roads in Sweden. Initial results are reasonably positive.


  • The municipality of Umea started to try this mixture as early as 2006. The mix of sand and warm water melted the ice on the roads and then froze again, fixing the sand to the road surface. This was only done on pavements and bike roads in Umea, since it was the only municipality where the necessary equipment was available. The Swedish National Road and Transport Institute started investigating the possibilities of this mixture during the winter of 2010-2011. The main conclusion was that the method had a good chance of reducing the number accidents occuring on otherwise slippery roads. The best results are achieved on tightly packed snow and on thick ice. The biggest problem was caused by the sand freezing in the truck. New deployment methods and a better composition of the mixture should alleviate the problem. In February Finland will host a special congress on cycling in wintry conditions, during which further results of this investigation will be disclosed.

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Combatting icy road conditions with warm water and sand

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