Recent trips to Ohio have confused me. The road has more stripes on it than it should, and I was struggling to figure out why.
Look at the road! Many many stripes. What could cause that?
It took a while and a discussion with my older son. We eventually settled on something related to snow removal. Turns out we were right.
The distinctive stripes on Ohio roads are due to an interesting deicing method used by the state to prevent ice from forming in the first place. The roads are coated with a solution of calcium chloride sprayed from a multi-point spray bar on the back of a truck, giving rise to the white lines that form on the surface. The calcium chloride residue stays on the surface, forming a conformal coating that stays put prior to snow fall. Rock salt, the typical means of controlling icing, is often scrubbed from the road if it is placed before about 1/2″ of snow has fallen. As the snow falls on the liquid-treated road, the calcium chloride (sometimes even garden-variety brine, too) goes to work immediately, reducing the risk of black ice formation.
The calcium chloride can build up over time, leading to enduring stripes on the road throughout the year.