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    Most public works agencies buy snow and ice control materials based on cost (45%) and performance (35%), rather than environmental impact (11%) and their affect on infrastructure (9%). Source: Transportation Research Board
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    When managers give equal weight to cost, performance, infrastructure, and environment, the tool software indicates how well selected deicers will meet department objectives at selected temperatures. Source: Transportation Research Board

Communities that share similar weather patterns and common materials sourcing have different topography, crews with different skills and preferences, different local ecosystems and their own unique customers—the roadway users and local voters who provide their funding.

The tool allows managers to explain to their constituents why they make their choices and provides a rational, defensible argument for those choices.

“Every public works agency should consider this tool, especially if somebody is reviewing the agency's snow and ice policy, and especially now after a major season,” DeVries adds. “People are always looking to reduce their salt usage, and this tool is going to be vital for somebody who doesn't have a lot of experience in this area.”

— Richard Hanneman is the president of the Salt Institute in Alexandria, Va.

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