Sun Journal cites UMaine study in article on treating Maine roads in winter

A 2010 study led by School of Economics Professor Jonathan Rubin for the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine was cited in the Sun Journal article, “Treating Maine roads in winter makes them safer, but takes a toll on vehicles.” The study, which the article refers to as the most comprehensive look at anti-icing issues, found that improved road clearing in the winter led to greater mobility for Mainers and “significantly fewer crashes.” However, the study acknowledged that corrosion from deicing salts is widespread and costly. By increasing the number of “freeze-thaw cycles,” it likely accelerates the deterioration of concrete and pavement as well, the article states. “Abundant anecdotal evidence in Maine tells us that vehicle corrosion on cars and trucks is more prevalent than a decade ago,” the study states. Experts cited in the study said salt’s impact also can be seen on trees and vegetation along the roads, according to the article.