Beet Juice Showing Positive Results to Treat Icy OKC Roads

News 9 - February 1, 2023 6:38 am

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Road crews are busy working to make sure Oklahoma roads are safe. One Oklahoma City road experiment is showing positive results.

Ice is always a problem in the winter. That’s why the city uses salt brine to melt it, but it doesn’t always work when it’s cold.

So, they came up with a solution, and people might have it in their kitchen. People hold a bit of a rivalry with this winter hazard.

“Ice is our worst enemy I guess,” Raymond Melton, the street superintendent with the City of Oklahoma City, said.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol routinely tells people to use caution while they drive in icy conditions.

Melton and his team of snowplow drivers fight this constant winter battle.

“It’s going today. It’s busy,” Melton said. “We love doing it.”

The Oklahoma City Public Works department treats roads with one proven weapon.

“We hold about 14,000 tons,” Melton said.

That’s enough salt brine for the metro’s winter season.

“We’re gonna be fine on salt this year,” Melton said.

Ice doesn’t go down without a fight when temperatures sink below zero.

“Our salt will only work until about 15 degrees [Fahrenheit],” Melton said.

The city added the same ingredient used to make table sugar.

“That’s why we went into the beet juice this year,” Melton said.

Melton’s team has been testing it on bridges and roads.

“It’s working out really well,” Melton said. “You can notice a difference almost immediately.”

The beet juice helps their salt brine work in negative temperatures. The solution provides another way to keep people on top of this bitter winter rival.

“Keeping people safe on the roadways,” Melton said.

This mixture costs the city a little more, but Melton said if it makes the roads safer it’s worth the extra cost.

 

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