Winter Street Care
There are Beets on our Streets
The extreme cold temperatures bring lots of challenges to our Public Works team and their efforts to keep our roadways safe. The City of North St. Paul uses a mixture of salt and beet juice to create an effective and environmentally friendly solution to keep our streets clear from snow and ice when the temperatures dip below 15 degrees.
The beet juice used by our Public Works department is derived from sugar beet molasses, a renewable resource, most likely grown in the Red River Valley of western Minnesota or eastern North Dakota.
When mixed with regular road salt, the beet juice produces a light coating of film around each salt granule to prevent it from taking on moisture. This coating speeds up the brining process so melting beings immediately upon application and prevents refreezing. The slightly tacky- nature of the coating causes the salt granules to stick to the surface where it's applied to provide better safety for motorists and pedestrians in the City. The City of North St. Paul orders large vats of the beet juice and mixes it with our road salt as needed. By mixing the product on-site, our Public Works team saves the City between $30-40 per ton versus ordering a pre-mixed product.
Besides the cost savings, the beet juice provides an environmentally friendly material that effectively melts ice down to -25 degrees Fahrenheit, improves melting efficiency, reduces salt use on the roadways, and also reduces bounce and scatter from the snowplows during application. The City of North St. Paul has used the beet juice material for the last several years and has found it has reduced the City’s salt usage by 30% while also introducing fewer chlorides into the environment. In addition to its cost savings and environmental benefits it also reduces corrosion of our equipment.