Seattle Deicer Error Made Bridge Roadway Slick

December 14, 2013

The Seattle Transportation Department admits it made a mistake with deicer that caused some accidents Dec. 2 and shut down the West Seattle Bridge.

Road maintenance manager Steve Pratt told a city council committee Tuesday they were trying to get ahead of anticipated freezing weather and Monday night football traffic when they sprayed magnesium chloride on the roadway that afternoon.

KIRO-FM reports it was too warm at the time – more than 40 degrees – and the operator mistakenly applied twice the recommend amount – 30 gallons per lane mile, instead of 15.

The result? Instead of preventing a slick roadway, the deicer created slippery pavement.

The department says the road crew will be trained to prevent making the same mistake again.

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