Ask Joe: Why do de-icers spray highways during the summer?

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Updated: 5/21 7:19 pm
Question:
From the Ask Joe file, one of our viewers thinks he may have spotted an example of government waste, and he wrote in to ask about it.
John Aramini said he was driving on Interstate 580 on a recent sunny afternoon, and noticed the de-icers were spraying liquid all over the road.
John wants to know why this was happening when it was 80 degrees outside that day?

Answer:
Was this waste of resources? Not at all. Joe spoke with Meg Ragonese from the Nevada Department of Transportation, and she said they perform maintenance sprays throughout the year on the I-580 bridge. They do this to keep the nozzles of the de-icers clean and free of roadway dirt.
Also, during the summer months, it's actually water and not the de-icing chemical that is used.
The de-icing system is part of the state's Zero Fatalities traffic safety goal. The idea is to delay the initial formation of ice on the roads.
So, if you see the system running even during the summer months, there is no need to be alarmed.
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