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Edmonton council votes to continue using calcium chloride on roads

By Admin User on October 17, 2018

After a long and heated debate at city hall on October 9, Edmonton city council decided to continue the anti-icing pilot program, which uses calcium chloride on city roads to clear snow and ice. Councillors were trying to decide if having clearer roads was worth the risk of possible corrosion on people’s vehicles and damage to concrete.

“I think I prefer the corrosion over the collision,” said Councillor Ben Henderson.

Councillor Mike Nickel was extremely opposed to the continuation of the anti-icing program.

“I still maintain that what we’re doing is wrong,” Nickel said. “We are downloading a pile of costs on our users with the cars, the landscaping, our city infrastructure, our buses and so on.”

The main complaint from Edmontonians is that the calcium chloride is causing more rust on their vehicles and also corroding concrete on private driveways. However, the city has designed a new chemical to act as an inhibitor in the chloride mixture that will hopefully slow down the damage to people’s property.

“So before they used a different kind of corrosion inhibitor that was not best in class,” said chemist Jamie Lawrence. “Over the last year, we’ve been working towards something that is more tenacious.”

However, some citizens believe that the calcium chloride does a better job of clearing roads than the salt and sand mixture that the city has used for years.

“We also have heard from our public that [calcium chloride] is safer and that they see that it’s safer,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

The city hopes that another year of the pilot program will give them solid proof about the effects of calcium chloride on vehicles and concrete. The problem is that sand and salt are also used on city roads. Sand can rub against vehicles, stripping paint and making it easier for rust to form. The salt is also known to cause corrosion.

Councillors also want collision stats to be collected from the roads where the calcium chloride is in use and compare the data with past years to see whether or not the streets are safer for drivers.



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