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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Can Beer Make Winter Roads Safer?

The Town of Dedham, Mass., and Central Michigan University are just two of the places where crews will be spreading a byproduct of brewing and distilling operations on roads to reduce icing conditions this winter.

Ice Ban, which looks and smells like molasses, is applied to asphalt and concrete before snow storms. The treatment helps salt stick better to roads and melt snow and ice before it has a chance to build up and create traffic woes. One problem with traditional road salt is that it starts to become less effective once temperatures dip below 20 degrees. Ice Ban is said to help road salt to continue working until temperatures reach zero degrees. It also helps reduce the ability of ice and snow to stick to roads, making them easier to clear.

Communities using Ice Ban believe it may help cut road salt budgets by as much as a third. It is non-toxic, environmentally friendly and less corrosive to vehicles than road salt.

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