Share on Facebook53Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someone

The Directorate of Public Works, or DPW, uses calcium chloride and sodium chloride for pre-treatment. In dry form they are used for de-icing but can be used in some cases for anti-icing. (Photo by Andreas Kreuzer, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs)

 

By Tom Janis, USAG Bavaria Emergency Manager

 

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Driving in Germany is particularly challenging with the speeds and the amount of traffic on the roadways.

 

Add winter conditions and the road conditions will deteriorate quickly with rain, ice and snow.

 

A particular hazard of driving in Germany in the winter time is the danger of “black ice” or Glatteis. Black ice, also known as “glare ice” or “clear ice,” refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a road. While not truly black, it is transparent, allowing you to see the asphalt pavement through it.

 

Black ice often occurs along with wet roads, making it hard to see and especially hazardous for driving or walking. If starting to lose control, steer toward the edge of the road where residues of sand and salt might help.

 

How German Road Treatments Differ

 

  • Pre-treatment: A form of anti-icing where chemicals are applied to the road up to 48 hours before a winter storm. This prevents a bond from forming between the pavement and the snow and ice after the storm starts.

 

  • Anti-icing: Application of chemicals to roads before a snow-pavement bond occurs when the temperature drops. Anti-icing emphasizes prevention.

 

  • Pre-wetting: Involves treating the dry de-icing chemicals with liquids before they are applied to the roadway as part of the de-icing efforts. This accelerates the activation of the chemicals before they are applied to the road. Pre-wetted chemicals typically are not applied to roads before snow or ice accumulates.

 

  • De-icing: The practice of removing snow or ice once it has bonded to the pavement. This involves plowing and continual application of chemicals and abrasives. Plowing generally begins when an inch or more of snow has accumulated on the road.

 

Chemicals Used Treat Roads in Winter

 

Sodium chloride (salt) and calcium chloride are chemicals used to prevent and remove snow and ice from roadways.

 

The Directorate of Public Works, or DPW, uses calcium chloride and sodium chloride for pre-treatment. In dry form they are used for de-icing but can be used in some cases for anti-icing.

 

Sodium Chloride, or salt, is DPW’s primary snow-removal and ice-control chemical. It is applied directly to the pavement once a storm starts. Salt is sometimes mixed with sand before it is applied to the road.

 

Dry salt is most effective after snow has accumulated about an inch and the temperature is 20° F or higher. If the temperature is below 20° F, salt may not melt enough snow and ice to form a barrier between the pavement and the snow, and it could even produce more ice as melted snow refreezes.

 

At these temperatures, abrasives such as sand are put down to break up ice and increase traction.

 

What Areas Are More Prone To Have Ice?

 

Grafenwoehr

 

  • State Road (St) # 299 Freihung – Grafenwoehr

 

  • St# 2166 between Vilseck – Weiden

 

  • St# 2120 between Hahnbach – Schlicht

 

  • Road from Netzaberg Housing to Gate 20.

 

Hohenfels

 

  • St# 2234 from Rohrbach – Parsberg

 

  • County Road # NM 34 Grossbissendorf – Raitenbuch

 

  • St# 2235 Hohenburg – Schmidmuehlen

 

Garmisch

 

  • St# 2062 Bad Kohlgrub

 

  • B2 Murnau – Spatzenhausen; Garmisch – Kaltenbrunn

 

  • B23 Oberau; Grainau – Garmisch – Griesen
Share on Facebook53Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someone