Beet Juice Could Be Used on Michigan Roads During the Winter
Beets are more than just a delicious food. A new bill that was introduced in Michigan will look at the benefits of utilizing the root vegetable as a way to winterize the roads in the state.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will conduct the study to see if it will be a long-term beneficial use. Senator Roger Victory of Hudsonville sponsored the bill and told WXYZ Detroit that beet juice acts as an adhesive when combined with the salt that's on the icy road. This way it keeps the salt from flying away and thus requires fewer salt treatments.
Less salt means less corroding of our roadways.
Moreover, beets are an environmentally-friendly option since the juice keeps the salt in its place, this means less chances of salt making its way into the sewer system and onto farms.
According to WXYZ, there are cities in the state already making use of this such as Novi who's been doing it since 2009. In another article from the news station, Farmington Hills has been using beet juice on their roads since 2005. Both cities have seen positive results including cost and labor efficiency.
Per MDOT the experiment will begin in winter 2021 and will cost about $600,000.
Michigan is only one of 11 states where sugar beets are grown and is the third (out of nine) largest producer in the country (via Michigan Sugar Company).