BUTLER (KDKA) — Could something from the garden help PennDOT deal with the snow and cold temperatures on the roads?

In the coming days, PennDOT in Butler County plans on testing a new and improved version of the beet juice they used to help treat the roads a few years ago.

Bob Skrak, from PennDOT, says salt becomes less effective as the temperature drops below 20 degrees, but the beet juice is supposed to make the salt work better.

“The salt starts to become ineffective as you drop below the 20 degree mark,” said Skrak.

He also says that beet juice continues to help even in temperatures below zero.

“It’s a beet juice, it has some other chemicals in it,” says Skrak of the mixture they’ll be testing. “It can go well below zero – maybe 15, 20 below. We’re certainly going to test it on the very cold temperatures.”

The batch they’ll be testing in the next few days has a higher sugar content than the beet juice they tried out a few years ago.

Skrak says the beet juice is a pilot program, and only PennDOT in Butler County is giving it a try.

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David Highfield