MDOT: Beets Beat Snow, Battling Michigan’s Icy Snow With Vegetables
If you've spent anytime driving on Michigan roads in the winter, you know that they can be kind of a hell scape. There's snow and ice everywhere, not to mention potholes too. And then add on top of that, the necessary evil of road salt.
Road salt is great for helping to melt snow and ice and keep it at bay, above a certain temperature. However, road salt reeks havoc on our roads, our vehicles, and the local ecosystems.
What Can You Use to Deice the Roads Besides Salt?
But if not road salt, than what?
Allow me to introduce you to a solution that you could have sworn that Dwight Schrute of 'The Office' came up with.
Dwight's character, for those that don't know, is a paper salesman at Dunder Mifflin by day, and beet farmer by night and weekend. And he is thoroughly obsessed with beets. To see how much, see how many times beets are mentioned throughout the series.
And if you've haven't picked up on my subtle hints yet, did you know that beet juice could be a solution for Michigan's winter roads?
Beet Juice as Road Slat Alternative?
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), they're trying to cut down on road salt usage this winter, and a something to help with that is beet juice.
In some parts, they might mix sand with the salt to help as a sticking agent. However, there are some roads up north that use beet juice. Here's evidence in photos taken along US-2 up north.
If you closely enough along the shoulder of the road, you'll see what looks like some reddish-brown staining on the snow. No, it's not roadkill, it's beet juice.
Here's an up close picture.
For some of the best results, they mix beet juice with some salt, and the beet juice acts as a deicer.
Plus, it's kind of sticky, so in my head, it kind of helps with traction.
By lessening the amount of salt used, there's less wear and tear on the roads. And anything that is better for Michigan roads, cars, and the environment, I'm all for.
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