Bridge's anti-icing system not yet active
Just in time for another big blast of cold air, the anti-icing system on the new Hastings bridge is expected to be fired up on or around Jan. 30.
The system’s operations have been delayed due to a leak. The contractor has fixed the problem and Minnesota Department of Transportation engineers are expected to sign off on the fix soon.
It’s another nice step forward for the bridge project, which will be 100 percent completed by May.
How it works
The chemicals and the pumps that run the system are housed in a small building near Hub’s Landing.
The system communicates with an automated weather station that detects snow, rain, humidity, wind and temperature on the bridge.
“When conditions are favorable for producing ice on the bridge deck, the system will activate,” project manager Steve Kordosky said.
When the system is activated, small discs about the size of a hockey puck emerge from the bridge deck and begin to spray a solution on the bridge. The solution is then picked up on vehicle tires and spread across the bridge by the cars that are traveling the bridge.
The discs are located on the inside shoulder of the bridge, or the middle.
The discs begin 500 feet before the main span, so that the entire surface is eventually coated with the solution.
Plowing is still required on the bridge, but the system helps keep the ice at bay.
The solution that is used by MnDOT is potassium acetate.
It is considered less corrosive than many other de-icing solutions and is frequently used on airport runways.
It is biodegradable and has what is considered a minimal environmental impact.