CDOT road crews on full snow shift

Snow plow

DENVER — The Colorado Department of Transportation started work early Tuesday to stay ahead of the winter storm by going into full snow shift.

There are about 100 plows in the metro area including Castle Rock and portions of the eastern plains, said spokeswoman Mindy Crane.

LINK: Traffic conditions in the metro area

Crews will work 12-hour shifts until the roads are clear of snow and ice. Crews will mostly use solid de-icer, Crane said, because the temperatures are expected to drop so low liquid de-icers won’t be effective.

“Motorists should expect winter driving conditions for the evening commute as well as tomorrow morning’s commute,” Crane said. “We encourage motorist to plan ahead.”

Here’s a look at some of the products CDOT uses to to keep ice off roads:

Magnesium Chloride in solutions up to 30% – Effective for use when pavement surface temperature is 16 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Cold Temperature Modified Magnesium Chloride in solutions up to 27% magnesium chloride – used when surface temperatures fall below approximately 15 degrees. Products meeting this description have a corn procession byproduct additive that greatly lowers the freezing point of magnesium chloride.

APEX – Magnesium Chloride-based product used above -4 degrees pavement surface temperature.  Due to its lower freezing point, can substitute for regular and cold-temperature magnesium chloride.

Ice Slicer/Solar Salt/Rapid Thaw/Ice Ban 300 – A solid product that is mainly sodium chloride with small amounts of other materials that help this product to work at lower temperatures than pure sodium chloride. It is used to melt ice pack at curves and intersections and other spot locations that make it difficult to de-ice with liquids and for broadcast applications in PM 10 non-attainment areas. Ice Slicer tends to remain in place and persist longer between applications than liquids.