Lawmakers Consider Studying Effects of Road Treatments

Lawmakers in Connecticut are considering whether the state should examine the effect chemical road treatments have on state, municipal and private vehicles, bridges and highways, as well as the environment.

Today, the Transportation Committee heard testimony on a bill that would require the state Department of Transportation to analyze any possible corrosive effects of chemical road treatments.

The Motor Transport Association of Connecticut has questioned the use of such winter road treatments over the years.

Last year, the group called on the General Assembly to make deicers like magnesium chloride illegal, claiming the chemical has been corroding trucks.

State Rep. Pam Sawyer (R-55th District) said she hopes the DOT will find a rust inhibitor to protect both.

“There are things other than salt to put down and you can certainly look at things like the acetates that you can put down. Yes, it’s more expensive but it doesn’t have the corrosiveness,” Sawyer said.

DOT contends the mixture used to pre-treat the roads works well and it's up to motorists to wash their vehicles to avoid corrosion.

State Department of Commissioner James Redeker said the rust inhibitors that are currently on the market don’t work, that’s why they don’t use one.

“I’m not against spending more money on materials that might help. To date, we haven’t seen conclusive evidence that inhibitors are actually really productive,” Redeker said.

The potential legislation would examine the treatment's effect on state, municipal and private vehicles, bridges and highways, as well as the environment.

DOT would also have to evaluate alternative products and treatments.

To protect your vehicle, drivers should wash their car, especially the undercarriage right after a storm to get rid of salt and prevent rust.

Lawmakers are urging people to check their vehicles and make sure they’re intact before it’s too late.

“Take a look at the undercarriage there and do an inspection. People can certainly do it themselves. After a winter like this, I think it’s very important,” Sawyer said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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