Oklahoma City’s Public Works Department is looking to bring a new product to their snow-fighting arsenal: beet juice. The pilot program will see how the potion performs on select bridges and overpasses this weekend in OKC.
Beet juice is used in cities like Calgary, Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati.
“Rock salt needs temperatures above 15 degrees and sunlight to be effective,” said Public Works Emergency Operations Manager Mike Love Jr. “When you add a percentage of beet juice to your salt or brine mixture, it brings the operational temperatures down to minus 10 to minus 20 degrees.”
The bridges to receive the beet-laced brine solution on Sunday morning include:
- Exchange Avenue over the Oklahoma River
- Pennsylvania over the Oklahoma River
- Agnew Avenue over the Oklahoma River
- May Avenue over the Oklahoma River
- Portland Avenue over the Oklahoma River
- Meridian Avenue over the Oklahoma River
- MacArthur Boulevard over the North Canadian River
- Council Road over the North Canadian River
- Meridian Avenue over Airport Road
- MacArthur Boulevard over Airport Road
- Meridian Avenue over SW 54th Street
“Since this is the first time we are trying beets in our brine, we will start with a salt solution that has 5% beets,” Love added. “Our goal is to streamline the City’s snow and ice program, so we can provide rapid and effective response to make our roadways safer during the winter season.”
Residents should be aware there could be slight red tint to bridges and roadways where the beet juice mixture has been applied. The juice has the added benefit of being less corrosive than salt and biodegradable.
The City purchased 2,000 gallons of beet juice for the pilot program.