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Testing and Evaluation of Recovered Traction Sanding Material

Started: April, 2011 Ended: August, 2013 Project ID #4W3527 Status: Completed


The goal of this study is to evaluate the practical suitability and the cost effectiveness of a statewide program for recycling and reusing traction sand on Montana roadways.


Many local governments and transportation agencies, including MDT, collect winter sand from roadways following winter maintenance operations. While removing such materials helps to alleviate problems alongside highways, it can create storage/disposal problems unless cost effective alternatives to disposal in landfills can be identified and implemented. Traction material collected from roadways is heterogeneous in composition and particulate structure. The engineering properties of this material are largely unknown and the suitability of reuse options is mostly anecdotal. A sampling and testing program is needed to quantify the mechanical and the chemical properties of stockpiled traction sanding material. Only after the material properties are better understood can a reliable evaluation of cost-effective and implementable reuse options be identified. A thorough cost–benefit evaluation of identified alternatives is necessary prior to implementing any statewide reuse program.


Sponsors & Partners

  • Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Sponsor

Part of: Infrastructure Maintenance and Materials

Project Tagged In: mechanical properties of traction sand, Properties of winter traction sand, re-use and recycle options for traction sand

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