Using beets to clear ice from roads

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Salt and sand are two of the ingredients that Public Works and DOT crews use to make it a lot easier to drive on the road when a snowstorm comes to Connecticut, but one ingredient is being added to that salt to New Haven, and that ingredient might surprise you. That ingredient is beet juice!

Crews in New Haven are gearing up for the next winter storm on the way. From fixing plows to gearing up vehicles, New Haven is stepping up their efforts to make sure you get to and from your destination a little safer on Wednesday.

Jeff Pescosolido, Director, New Haven Public Works said, “The last two winters have been difficult for New Haven Public Works. Through our research we found this beat juice additive with our granular salt or our brine that lowers the temperatures that they would actually work in melting to minus 15 degrees.”

What you might not know about the salt used on the roads is that the colder the temp, the less it works. Adding the sugary liquid to the salt helps increase the ability for the salt to work, so a lot less salt needs to be used. It also adds stickiness to the mixture.

“One of the concerns when we put down granular salt, the material ends up on the side of the road so having some moisture built in with it, it will adhere to the pavement a little longer.” said Pescosolido.

And don’t worry, the beet juice will not stain you or your car when it’s put onto the road.

So in the end, it’s really a win win situation for Public Works here in New Haven. This 5000 gallon tank makes it more productive for the salt, and it’s also better for the environment as well. It also saves the town some money!

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