Some municipalities use a special formula of salt brine to prevent ice from forming on the roads. The benefit of using this less harmful anti-ice formula is that it drastically cuts down on the use of salt on roadways, which is a major cause of erosion of the roads. Another neat fact is that this concoction can sometimes contain sugar beet molasses, which gives it a purple hue.
In cases where so much snow has fallen and has formed ice mats, salt will be applied to the roads and when cars drive over it, it works the salt into the snow to help melt the ice.
In extremely cold conditions, that of temperatures of -11 Celsius or less, salt can be coated with liquid calcium to help accelerate the melting process during a snowstorm. As soon as the liquid calcium coated salt comes in contact with water it generates heat, which in turn melts the ice.