MD Road De-Icing Program Using Molasses | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

MD Road De-Icing Program Using Molasses

Play associated audio
Sugar beet molasses mixed with the salt brine is commonly used on roadways during winter months.
Elliot Francis
Sugar beet molasses mixed with the salt brine is commonly used on roadways during winter months.

By Elliott Francis

The Maryland State Highway Administration is launching a pilot program using molasses to help keep roadways free of snow and ice.

The compound is sugar beet molasses mixed with the salt brine commonly used on roadways during winter months. Highway administration spokesperson Sandy Dobson says it could be the perfect ice melt solution.

"It's all natural, non-corrosive, and it helps in the application of the salt," says Dobson.

Typically, road salt and salt brine dissipates rapidly after it's applied. Highway tech manager Scott Simon says the molasses in the so-called 'Ice Bite' compound helps the salt stick to the roadway.

"With the heavy volume of traffic, it eventually beats everything off the road. This will let it lay on the road, let the traffic go over it and it will stay," says Simon.

Salt truck driver James Mackensie tested it last year. He wants to spread it a little further this season.

"We only done the bridges last year. This year we'll do most of 95," says Mackensie.

The program begins in Howard and Frederick counties.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 2

You can see a selection of Chinese films or meditate on the meaning of the word “axis” at an art exhibition.

NPR

These 5 Crops Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work

Saffron, vanilla, palm oil, cacao and cottonseed oil are still picked by hand in some parts of the world. Sometimes that manual labor shows up in the price of the food; sometimes it doesn't.
NPR

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

A growing grass-roots movement aims to establish paid sick leave in the U.S., enjoying some success at the city and state level. The issue is already playing big in 2014 political races.
NPR

Using Technology To Counter Police Mistrust Is Complicated

Police officers in Ferguson, Mo., are now wearing body cameras. But cameras don't solve everything. Sometimes, they can create more disputes.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.