KDOT Q&A: So, What Causes Those Weird Lines in The Road?

KDOT Q&A: So, What Causes Those Weird Lines in The Road?

We used to call this important Kane County Connects segment “Ask Mr./Ms. Kane County Person,” but we got so tired of trying to mimic the writing style of Dave Barry we had to take a three-year nap.

Here’s today’s important question, asked to Heidi Files of the Kane County Division of Transportation by Mr./Ms. Kane County Person.

(SPOILER ALERT! “Salt brine” is part of the answer.)

Q: Hi, Heidi!

A Kane County Connects reader is asking what the lines are on the street after a snow storm.

I can’t even picture them in my head, but the lines are described as parallel and might be caused by snow trucks (?) One person suggested they might be a measurement tactic of some sort?

Not sure you can answer this, but if you know off the top of your head, give me a holler. 🙂

A: Hi Rick! … er, Mr./Ms. Kane County Person!

I know exactly what your reader is talking about. I wondered about those lines myself. I’ve copied Bill Edwards on this email in case I need to be corrected.

Super high resolution 3D render of road work sign … ?

Those lines are what’s left over after water evaporates from a salt brine mixture.

The county will apply this anti-icing technique to the roads in anticipation of light snow or heavy frost, concentrating in areas that are affected by dropping temperatures more quickly than others, such as bridge decks or shaded areas.

The maintenance department is planning on applying this treatment in some areas tomorrow anticipating freezing precipitation. This technique and application makes the roads safer and saves money, because it is proactive and saves the county money by allowing us to prepare ahead of time during normal work hours so we don’t have to pay for overtime.

If you would like, I can go out with the crew tomorrow and take some photos and send them to you. Let me know.


  • Got a question for Mr./Ms. Kane County Person? Too bad! We haven’t done one of these since 2015! That said, if you have a question that’s Kane County related, send an email to kanecountyconnects@gmail.com, and we’ll try to find an answer.

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