LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Roger Victory introduced legislation on Tuesday that would provide a more environmentally friendly way to deal with icy roads.
Senate Bill 379 would create a three-year pilot program to test the use of sugar beet byproducts to prevent icing and optimize de-icing of roads.
“Salt works well to handle ice on roads, but it harms Michigan’s freshwater ecosystems,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “On top of that, salt corrodes our roads and vehicles. Providing an alternative to salt-only de-icing will help with both of these problems.”
Victory said that the city of Frankenmuth currently uses this method on their roads and the state of Minnesota has a similar pilot program in place.
Each year, more than 20 million tons of salt is used to mitigate icy road conditions across the United States.
Using sugar beet juice and other organic additives to improve the ability of the salt to stick to the pavement is expected to decrease the amount reaching water sources and limit how much salt is required to be effective at managing icy conditions.
SB 379 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for consideration.