During severe winter conditions bridges freeze before the roadways, usually catching unsuspecting drivers off guard. To mitigate the issue, some state transportation agencies have successfully implemented automatic bridge deck anti-icing systems. This study documented the research performed to develop a decision-aid tool for Nebraska to prioritize bridges for the most efficient installation. As part of the research, the benefits of automatic bridge deck anti-icing systems in other states were evaluated.
FINDINGS FROM THE LITERATURE REVIEW
- After the installation of an automatic bridge deck anti-icing system in Utah there was a 64 percent reduction in reported crashes.
- In Minnesota, the installation of automatic anti-icing systems reduced crashes at three sites:
- Interstate 35 bridge near Duluth by 56 percent. The benefit-to-cost ratio was 2.0:1.
- Truck Hwy 61 bridge near Winona by 100 percent. The benefit-to-cost ratio was 3.1:1.
- An intersection in Dresbach by 100 percent. The benefit-to-cost ration was 2.7:1.
- In Minnesota, another anti-icing system installed on I-35W at the Mississippi River Bridge resulted in a 68 percent reduction in winter season crashes and a benefit-to-cost ratio of 3.4:1.
- Accident frequency reduction varies from 25 to 100 percent.
- Benefit-to-cost ratios of such systems are in the range of 1.8:1 to 3.4:1.