Letter to the editor | Winter-weather warning

November 19, 2013 

As we move into colder weather, I need to issue a warning.

Last spring, I noticed my garage floor was pitted and disintegrating. I contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and received information that indicated this was “flaking,” which results when brine (used to pretreat roads) drips off vehicles and contacts untreated concrete.

PennDOT suggests treating concrete floors and washing the undercarriages of vehicles frequently, especially after driving on treated roadways.

As I asked more questions, I learned there may be an even bigger issue. The brine has a significant corrosive effect on vehicles (affecting brake lines, rocker panels and truck beds). Mechanics have been extremely busy doing repairs caused by this corrosion.

The brine is many times more concentrated than the solid salt formerly used by PennDOT. However, according to the state Secretary of Transportation, pretreating roads with brine is saving tax dollars. My concern is that, while the use of brine may be saving some taxpayers money, it is costing other taxpayers.

I travel a great deal in my work. I am grateful when I see Penn DOT employees doing their job.

I hope PennDOT can find a less corrosive material that keeps Pennsylvania roadways safe in winter but with fewer and less costly side-effects.

Residents experiencing these or related issues due to the use of brine should call PennDOT at 355-4731.

James Hoy, Bellefonte

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