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'FAST' system prevents roads from icing over

By Devon Dolan | Posted - Jan 24th, 2013 @ 10:44pm

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PROVO CANYON — The problem with winter weather in Utah is we can't always predict when roads are going to freeze over. But what if we could monitor the temperature of the pavement and stop the ice before it starts?

The Utah Department of Transportation says it has a way to do that.

"(It) is an innovative technique that sprays road surfaces with anti-icing liquids," explained Muriel Sochimitl, communications manager for the Utah Department of Transportation.

The system is called Fixed Automated Spray Technology, or FAST. Sensors installed in the roadway monitor the temperature and conditions. When the temperatures drop, FAST releases a de-icer before the pavement even freezes over.

The best part: it's all automatic — which means safer roads at a reduced cost.

UDOT has been testing out FAST in the Provo Canyon for the past few weeks. So far, engineers say it's worked.

"We try to install these techniques and innovate technologies in the places where we need them most," Sochimitl explained. "In this location, we've seen a reduction in accidents."

UDOT has already tested out three other areas, giving them the results and motivation to expand.


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