Salt only goes so far when it comes to melting snow and ice off the roads. And it’s bad for the vehicles that travel those roads. So the transportation department is testing beet juice, mixed with the salt….to cut costs, limit damage to vehicles, roads, and bridges and to keep roads from freezing in much colder temperatures..

Department spokesman Sandy Hentges says the mixture is being tested in St. Louis, Springfield, and in the St. Joseph area.

If the tests work well enough, the department will start using the stuff statewide, something that could reduce the 30-million dollar cost of snow and ice removal.

The beet juice is not from the beets we have at the dinner table….it’s residue from the beets that are processed to make sugar. The juice is light brown in color and has a strong odor. But motorists driving on icy roads are unlikely to notice any smell….and who’s going to notice that the winter’s grime is a little bit more than than usual?


Download Bob Priddy’s story (:62 mp3)