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Salt, beets, molasses, cheese: A recipe for clear roads

Sunday - 2/24/2013, 7:12am  ET

Salttruck.jpg
Some local governments are mixing it up during winter storms and using natural substances to help salt stick to the road. (Getty Images, J/J Images - J Morrill Photo)

WASHINGTON - Innovative winter weather road treatments give a new meaning to "getting food on the road."

USA Today reports that some local governments are mixing it up during winter storms and using natural substances to help salt stick to the road. The new additions also help to cut down on the amount of salt used.

The most popular additives to keep the salt from bouncing off the road are molasses and beet juice. In Wisconsin, home of the "cheeseheads," some areas are using cheese brines to weigh down the salt.

The article explains that nationwide states can dump as much as 15 million tons of rock salt on roadways, but most of that salt ends-up in the water table. Using less salt also amounts to more savings for road agencies.

Winter weather solutions don't stop with food. The U.S. government delegated $750,000 for experiments using solar power to heat the asphalt to melt ice during nasty weather, according to USA Today.

But until a better solution is found, salt trucks are here to stay - even if they are mixed with something that smells like molasses, beets or cheese.

WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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