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Video: Kick some ice! MnDOT attacks winter with new weapon

Nov 14, 2019 12:34PM ● By Editor
MnDOT’s new ice-breakers are two-ton rollers bristling with carbide-tipped spikes. When mounted on the front of snowplows, the whirling spikes stab into sheets of ice, breaking them up to be plowed away. Photo:  MnDOT

By Bob Shaw from twincities.com - November 13, 2019


Minnesota’s new road-clearing weapon has arrived — and it’s ready to kick some ice.

The devices, called ice-breakers, are two-ton rollers bristling with carbide-tipped spikes. When mounted on the front of snowplows, the whirling spikes stab into sheets of ice, breaking them up to be plowed away.

According to Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman Anne Meyer, the state bought the first one in 2014, then added more for use in rural areas. MnDOT recently increased the number to 17, including four in the metro area.

MnDOT’s new ice-breakers are two-ton rollers bristling with carbide-tipped spikes. When mounted on the front of snowplows, the whirling spikes stab into sheets of ice, breaking them up to be plowed away. Photo:  Freshwater Society

“They are like big meat-tenderizers on the front of the trucks,” said John Stine, director of the Freshwater Society, which advocates for new ways to clear roads with less salt.

Equipped snowplows travel about 20 mph, pushing the one-lane-wide rollers. After the spikes pulverize the ice, a built-in plow scoops the ice-chips away.

Even when it doesn’t completely break up the ice, the ice-breaker pokes holes to allow salt to better penetrate and melt the ice.

To read the original article and see related reporting, follow this link to the twincities.com website.  https://www.twincities.com/2019/11/13/kick-some-ice-dot-attacks-winter-with-new-weapon/



Watch a MN DOT demonstration video here

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