Is beet or cheese brine the future of Maine winter roads?


Salt is no longer as desirable on the road as it used to be.

I know every city faces some adversity trying to keep their roads clear of snow all winter long. Some cities seem to have it nailed down, others apparently don’t care at all. And yet, other cities have no budget for their own public works and rely on the state to carry them out. But these roads can’t be cleared, that’s for sure.

There is also much debate about the best method for controlling snow and ice. Most cities have a budget set aside for salt and sand. The two are often mixed together to provide the most traction so we don’t all slide all over the place. But there is a whole movement to use less salt.

Some of the replacement ideas are quite strange.

According to WGME, the state recognizes that salt pretty much rots cars, isn’t really good for the road anyway, and is bad for the environment as runoff gets into our lakes and streams over time. But the alternatives seem much less effective and much more expensive.

Some states use things like beet juice or even cheese brine to treat their roads. But that will only make our roads tasty and probably won’t provide the kind of melting we need. Beet juice makes things a little sticky and weird, and cheese brine probably isn’t all that different from the brine Maine DOT already uses.

It will definitely take some time to figure out, but the Maine DOT is partnering with the University of Maine to provide new solutions. Whatever happens, I hope they find a suitable alternative and start using it where I live. This guy is sick of sliding down a ditch at 8 mph… I’m just saying.


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