City of Lincoln
2006 Media Releases
Mayor Coleen J. Seng said the City’s use of a corn-based de-icer known as “Ice Ban” helps keep City streets clear, promotes the use of one of the State’s most important crops and protects the environment. The City Public Works and Utilities Department uses about 55,000 gallons of the product each winter.
“Ice Ban prevents snow and ice-pack from bonding to the road surface and is a good corn-based product that promotes our ties to agriculture,” said Mayor Seng. “Because it is an agricultural by-product, Ice Ban is non-toxic, biodegradable and does not accumulate in the environment.”
Andrew Edwards, City Street Superintendent, said Ice Ban is ideal for treating “black ice” and clear-weather frost on roads and bridge surfaces. Ice Ban also has proven to be very effective in the removal of existing snow-packed conditions.
In anticipation of the storm that hit Lincoln this week, City crews applied Ice Ban between midnight and 6 a.m. about 24 hours prior to the storm. The product is used on bridges, overpasses, new pavement and major intersections. Ice Ban also is used to pre-wet salt used on streets because it reduces the City’s salt usage by about 20 percent and helps keep the sprayed areas in relatively good condition prior to the deployment of a full-scale material spreading operation.
Ice Ban is made from the concentrated liquid residue of the processing of corn and other agricultural products. Don Hutchens, Executive Director of the Nebraska Corn Board, said new uses for corn help bridge the gap between the rural and urban parts of the state.
“Thanks to corn growers investing their corn checkoff dollars into research and market development we have new uses and markets for the corn we grow in Nebraska,” said Hutchens. “The use of Ice Ban just makes good sense when you look at the tremendous costs associated with new bridges and new pavement today. You want those bridges and highways to last as long as possible, and once the snow and ice melt, you don’t want to endanger the environment. Most importantly, you want motorist to be able to drive on a dry surface as quickly as possible.”
The City also uses about 20,000 gallons of Ice Ban every year for dust control. Crews spray about 60 blocks of unpaved roads in late spring and late summer.