BRECKSVILLE, Ohio -- The City of Brecksville is one of two cities in the country that is testing a de-icing compound that could dramatically cut the city's need to salt and plow its roads in the future.
The product, called WinterPave, is mixed into the asphalt before paving.
City officials say the asphalt mix is supposed to keep roads clear of snow and ice when temperatures are above 17 degrees Fahrenheit. In colder temperatures, snow and ice may form on the top, but will not stick and may be easily removed by a snow plow.
"We are super excited about this product," says Debby Capela, Business Development Director for Cargill, Inc., which has partnered with the European makers of WinterPave to market it in the U.S.
Brecksville road crews spent Wednesday morning repaving a small stretch of Barr Road at the Ohio Turnpike, using asphalt mixed with WinterPave. The treated road will be monitored during the winter to test the product's effectiveness.
The city spent $8,700 for the test batch and has high hopes for its success.
Weidig says the city spends about $400,000 a year for salt and with Brecksville's rolling hills in the heart of the secondary snow belt, the de-icer could be more cost effective than salt and could make the roads safer.
WinterPave is also supposed to keep the road from freezing.
"It's the freeze and thaw cycles that lead to potholes, so we're hoping that the road surface will last longer," said Weidig.
Capela says the product doesn't deteriorate, so it should last as long as the road surface. She says it's chloride-free, environmentally safe, non-corrosive, and an all-natural product.
However, she would not reveal WinterPave's ingredients, citing a pending patent.
She says WinterPave has been used successfully in Europe for about 7 years.