How About Beet Juice?

(CINCINNATI) -- If you notice the snow turning a different color when it hits Cincinnati roads, beet juice is to blame.

The city's street department is pretty excited about this winter weather because it's the first opportunity they've had to test out beet juice, the newest snow and ice fighting tool that they hope will prove to be as good for the roads as it is for the environment.

Cincinnati's rolling hills that quickly become slippery slopes when winter weather strikes are taking beet juice for a test drive.

The beet juice, also known as Geomelt, is a natural product that comes from the sugar beet. It's cheaper than salt and it doesn't freeze.

"We're taking the waste product that would've gotten thrown away and making it useful," said Diane Watkins with the city of Cincinnati.

For the first test run, six Cincinnati streets, including Columbia Parkway and Kellogg Avenue have been treated. Half of the street with salt and brine and the other half with the beet juice and brine mixture.

"We'll be doing inspections of those sites taking photos and looking at how snow is reacting," said Watkins.

There's good news for drivers too. Beet juice won't stain your car and it won't leave a film on your car like the salty roadways do.

"It sticks to the street more so it's not gonna kick up like salt would," said Watkins.

For Cincinnati drivers, anything that will keep Interstate 75 from turning into a slippery, sloppy, icy parking lot is a welcome change.

For the next snow fall, the city will mix the beet juice with salt and see if it helps the salt stick better to the roads.

Columbus, Akron and South Bend, Indiana are just a few cities that have tested it.

The road crews here say a true test for Cincinnati will be when we get a big snowfall where snow packs the roadways. If the beet juice can melt what's stuck to the road, he city will probably stick with the beet juice. Corey McConnell