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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > January 1997 > A "How-To" Guide to Anti-Icing Strategies
January 1997Publication Number: FHWA-SA-97-019

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A "How-To" Guide to Anti-Icing Strategies

Adopting anti-icing strategies has been made even easier. A new publication, Manual of Practice for an Effective Anti-Icing Program: A Guide for Highway Winter Maintenance Personnel, provides winter maintenance managers and field personnel with the essential information needed to start using this efficient and cost-effective approach to snow and ice control. Anti-icing strategies involve applying salt or other chemicals to pavements before snow and ice bond to the road. The result-roads stay clearer or are easier to plow if snow begins to accumulate. Traditional deicing strategies, in contrast, must break this bond, so they require much more effort and considerably more chemicals. The manual explains all facets of anti-icing, drawing on the experience of the 15 States that participated in FHWA's 2-year test and evaluation of anti-icing strategies and technologies. After a brief introduction to anti-icing methods and how they fit into a winter maintenance program, the manual details everything needed to implement them-equipment, such as salt spreaders and chemical storage facilities; decision-making tools, such as road weather information systems and patrols; and personnel management tools, like scheduling and training. The manual then outlines the steps in an anti-icing strategy, from assessing the situation before a storm hits to conducting follow-up operations after the storm ends. An appendix includes a series of charts recommending the actions to take during different types of winter storms and for different pavement temperatures, traffic levels, or other conditions. The manual was produced by the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) under contract to FHWA.

To obtain a copy of the Manual of Practice for an Effective Anti-Icing Program: A Guide for Highway Winter Maintenance Personnel (Publication No. FHWA-RD-95-202), contact Federal Highway Administration R&TProduct Distribution Center, HRTM-03 - E-mail: The report can also be downloaded from FHWA's World Wide Web site Two companion videos-What Is Anti-Icing (Video No. 124) and Anti-Icing for Maintenance Personnel (Video No. 125)-are also available from the Reports Center.

For more information on SHRP research on snow and ice control, contact Salim Nassif at FHWA (telephone: 202-366-1557; fax: 202-366-9981; email:

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Updated: 02/20/2015

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