The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 027 [Completed (IDEA)]

Automated Bridge Deck Anti- and De-Icing System
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project developed and tested an automated bridge deck anti- and deicing system. The system uses accepted deicing liquids, such as sodium or magnesium chloride, and traditional spray application techniques coupled with a modern roadway weather information system (RWIS) and novel data communication and process control to perform the task. Fixed snow and ice control systems are used in Western Europe to spray bridges with liquid snow and ice control materials. This system improves European practices and adapts them to U.S. highway practice. The innovative element of the system includes the provision for automated process control. The decision to apply anti- and deicing fluid to the bridge can be controlled by a knowledge-based algorithm (Figure 1), initialized on a process control computer located at the bridge. The process control algorithm uses data from the sensors of a modern RWIS. In addition, system status checks and manual operations may be carried out remotely using a cellular phone and voice/keypad menu commands. The anti- and deicing process can be initiated from the cab of a vehicle located at the bridge.
A prototype automated bridge anti-icing system was designed for and installed at the 6200 South Street overpass of I-215 in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah. The American Public Works Association, the British Ministry of Highways, the Kansas City Department of Public Works, the Japan Ministry of Construction, the Nevada Department of Transportation, and the Priority Technologies Project Office of FHWA have shown interest in using the system for road applications. The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB99-130718).

The final report for this IDEA project can be found at:

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