ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Albany Department of General Services’ roadway crews announced Wednesday a new, more effective process to keep city streets safe this winter. The department has become one of the first in local municipalities to make a shift to salt brine: rock salt dissolved in water that is applied prior to an anticipated winter weather event in order to mitigate risk.

Salt brine, when applied properly, settles into tiny crevices on roadways creating a protective layer that prevents ice and snow from bonding with pavement. It can be applied up to 48 hours before a winter storm, so long as there is no rain forecasted in the interim.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “I applaud Commissioner Panunzio and the Department of General Services for implementing this innovative solution to help make streets safer during and after snow and ice storms. Applying brine is not only more effective than rock salt, but it helps us strengthen our historic investments in streets, extend the life of our infrastructure, and helps protect the environment.”

City residents can expect to see large DGS trucks applying brine in the days prior to winter storm events. This process aims to return roadways to bare conditions faster, and provides reductions in the quantity of deicer used, resulting in cost savings. Traditional road salt may still be needed in areas of the city where salt brine is ineffective.