Beet juice to cover slick streets as Winnipeg expands pilot program throughout city

The City of Winnipeg is expanding a pilot program that will see beet juice sprayed on slippery city streets this winter.

The public works department started a trial run in 2015 using beet juice as an ingredient to help melt ice on Winnipeg roads.

“As this product has shown positive outcomes, this winter we will be using this product city-wide,” said communications officer Ken Allen.

“The benefit from using beet-based melting products is that it reduces the chloride loading on infrastructure and the environment, while producing a good quality melting solution.”

Beet products make up half of the solution that will be applied to Winnipeg roads, along with traditional salt brine. It’s used for de-icing, pre-wetting rock salt before it leaves the spreader trucks to help the road ice melt faster and pre-wetting sand to help it stick to roads more effectively, he said.

The pilot project concentrated on a section in the east portion of the city, a spokesperson told Global News earlier this year.

“It’s proven to be very effective. You can use it in colder temperatures so we’re using it up to -30 C,” they said.

The city’s anti-icing program has about 37 spot locations on bridges and underpasses, and 143 lane kilometres of roadway.

And according to the city, there’s no evidence beet juice impacts the rusting of cars.

-With files from Amber McGuckin and Brittany Greenslade

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