ODOT crews were out in full force Wednesday night making sure the major roadways were clear throughout Cuyahoga and surrounding counties.
While ODOT crews in District 12 (Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties) used salt on the roads; crews in District 4 (Summit, Stark, Portage, Ashtabula, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties) used a more unique mix incorporating beet juice.
As pavement temperatures drop below 20 degrees ordinary road salt becomes less and less effective, which is why ODOT plows in District 4 started incorporating the beet juice solution into their salt brine to keep the salt activated and preserved on cold roadways.
It's a funny mixture but ODOT District 4 spokesman Justin Chesnic says there is a lot of science behind it all.
At 30 degrees one pound of salt can melt 46 pounds of ice, however when pavement temperatures drop by just 5 degrees to 25, one pound of salt can only melt 14 pounds of ice.
It's a drastic change beet juice and other ingredients help to counteract.
"Since we deal with so much snow and ice in this area…this district is known for experimenting with a lot of different materials," said Chesnic.
In addition to beet juice some other areas use calcium chloride to help the salt activate and last longer in freezing temps.