For this morning’s first blast of winter, as of 8 AM, 142 plows were out on Iowa’s roadways, applying solid and liquid material, and others just plowing. Most of the plows are currently working in the Northwest corner of the state. In the map below, the “blue” means that the snowplow is applying material (if you click on it, you’ll see which material it is using). The ‘Orange’ snowplows are NOT applying any material.

The Iowa Department of Transportation’s snowplow tracking website,, allows you to see where the state’s snowplows are currently located, the materials they are applying, and photos of the roads that they are operating on.

The Iowa DOT has a fleet of around 900 snowplows and through the ‘Track-a-Plow’ website you can see how many plows are out on the roads across the state. The Iowa Department of Transportation is responsible for snow and ice removal on more than 9,000 miles of Iowa highways --- that’s over 24,000 lane-miles of roadway. (The department is responsible for all interstates and primary highways.)

If you do plan on traveling during winter-driving conditions, make sure you utilize or download the free app. Current road conditions and radar imagery is also available.

Rock salt is the primary deicing material. Each year, the Iowa DOT uses approximately 200,000 tons of rock salt to help clear the roads of snow and ice. (The salt comes from Louisiana and/or Kansas)

The trucks also utilize a ‘brine’ mixture. Spraying a liquid salt-brine solution on the roadway will help keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement.  The salt solution acts as a barrier so the snow and ice do not form a strong bond to the pavement.

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