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Thread: NOVAParks is going to start pre-treating the W&OD when snow & ice are in the forecast

  1. #1
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    Red face NOVAParks is going to start pre-treating the W&OD when snow & ice are in the forecast

    From the official W&OD Trail Twitter account, I've copy and pasted the full text because they're not great at Twitter so it's not all threaded.

    https://twitter.com/WODTrail/status/936626064398471168
    https://twitter.com/WODTrail/status/936627016044023808
    https://twitter.com/WODTrail/status/936634069739335681

    Hi Chris, thank you for your interest in the W&OD. Starting this winter we'll be pre-treating the trail in Arlington heading westward when snow/ice is in the forecast. We've talked with Arlington about snow removal best practices and Arlington County staff have pre-treated their trail system in winter for some time. After researching suitable equipment and allocating the necessary funds we've purchased a tanker trailer that can hopefully do the job for us. The pre-treatment working in tandem with our snow blowers should help reduce trail down time so to speak with snow & ice on the trail. In the meantime enjoy these warm sunny days on the W&OD!

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  3. #2
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    Good to hear, I just hope nobody blows the W&OD trail the wrong way like some roads. I hate to see the W&OD f'ed up like some streets for the rest of us. If it's covered with snow 36.5 Days/Year, that's 10% per year. If mess was made while blowing, 90% of the year and thereafter it would be filled with potholes and the like, too expensive to repair. The right time to blow snow is before it turns into ice. Side roads get more damage because contractors are busy clearing main roads, while on side roads it thaws and refreezes. So if a good samaritan blows the W&OD on his own, I would freak out. There is no way to know if that person would do the same when snow turns into ice or not. I do support blowing the W&OD, but only if it doesn't do any damage.

  4. #3
    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Potholes get bad when there's hydraulic pressure from passing vehicles pushing water into the roadbed. I don't think this is much of a problem for bikes, even fat bikes.

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    Winter damage is more based on freeze thaw cycles than simply snow and ice itself. We help it along by spreading salts and clorides at even the first mention of cold weather.
    Ice melting chemicals will cause ice and snow to melt into an ever diluting brine. It will refreeze when the brine concentrations become diluted and the temp drop meets the freeze point. Often time this is after it has soaked down into an already cold road surface. It then forces the cracks apart even further. The next cycle lets in more water and it freezes and jacks the cracks open even more. Asphalt is porous. If it is below freezing when the snow falls there is little damage when it melts and runs off and through before refreezing. It is the freeze while filling the porous voids in the road surface that causes the eventual surface failure.
    Very true that weight of the vehicles has a large impact of road bed lifespan. Cracked surface on a MUP is annoying. On a road bed the cracks and depessions let the gravel base layers underneath become waterlogged and soft. Then the wheel weight depresses the surface more and you are off to pothole heaven.


    I like the idea of a Clean and Clear W&OD but I worry about use of pretreatments. It sounds like they will use magnesium chloride. The upside is it can be applied as a solution well before the weather hits and is easy to mix up and apply. It dries white and sticks to the surface well. This makes it way better than the granular treatments. Too far in advance with the pretreatment and road traffic will crunch the grains into dust and the wind removes it from the surface. This is extra bad as now the salts and chlorides are pollution without having done any good at all.
    The down side to mag chloride is it simply eats metal for lunch, dinner, a midnight snack and puts the rest away in the fridge for breakfast. Mag chloride brine splashes up and into your car/bike and then dries out again sticking nice and tight. Now it waits for any moisture in the air to activate a bit and munch away. It takes more than a quick hose splash to remove it too.
    Last edited by Vicegrip; 12-01-2017 at 03:11 PM.

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