Automatic anti-icing systems on bridges reduced crashes by 25 to 100 percent and benefit-to-cost ratios ranged from 1.8:1 to 3.4:1.
Made Public Date
08/08/2008

13

Nationwide
United States

134

Statewide
Utah
United States

559

Dresbach
Minnesota
United States

560

Winona
Minnesota
United States

58

Duluth
Minnesota
United States
Identifier
2008-00534
TwitterLinkedInFacebook

Bridge Prioritization for Installation of Automatic Anti-icing Systems in Nebraska

Summary Information

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.

An extensive literature review on automatic bridge deck anti-icing systems was executed. Researchers also reviewed the experiences of several transportation agencies that deploy such systems.

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.
In summary:
  • 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.
Goal Areas