Friday, November 14, 2008

Beet down in the OP Streets

From the Overland Park Public Works department comes this little green tidbit:
Starting this snow season, the Public Works Department is going to experiment with beet juice to treat streets. This organic agriculture by-product is created from desugared beets. It has a sweet smell but is not sticky.

The beet juice, which is mixed with liquid magnesium chloride, will be tested on thoroughfares south of 143rd Street and on residential streets between 119th and 135th streets, from Metcalf west to Antioch.

It is anticipated that use of the juice will reduce overall costs and benefit the environment.
At first, I thought this was some kind of cockamamie scheme cooked up by the powerful beet lobby. But it turns out many states and municipalities have been testing this new solution for the last couple of years.
It works by lowering the freezing temperature of the brine that's used to pretreat roads, experts say. And it's made from a waste product that was dumped down the drain before this new use was discovered.
I've also learned that Kansas City, Mo., will be trying something similar, except instead of beet juice they'll be putting giant steel plates on their roads.

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