MnDOT is experimenting with other alternatives for snowy roads in Duluth

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When it comes to those snowy and icy roads, salt can do the job of helping melt away the snow. Salt is made up of sodium chloride. Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is experimenting with some different ice alternatives that are showing some promise. Plus it is supposed to be a lot less corrosive on vehicle metal.

MnDOT State Maintenance Engineer Jed Falgren told KARE 11 that ‘potassium acetate’ is being tried out in limited areas in the twin cities. In Duluth, four snowplow trucks are using it on our roads and bridges. But for now, most trucks are still carrying other mixtures.

"We have been trying to use less salt, and we want to use our salt as efficiently as possible,” Nelson said. Margie Nelson is the Public Affairs Coordinator District 1 with MnDOT.

"We will spray a liquid on it right when the salt is being released so that it helps stick to the roadways better. Then there is less salt scattered and bounce going off. So, we want it to stay on the road and stick efficiently as possible."

As alternative products are being tested in helping to improve conditions on snowy and icy roads, keeping your car clean as much as you can during these winter months can be a good thing to do as well.

Estimator, Chris Burrows at Arrowhead Auto Body, stresses the importance of getting the snow road chemicals off your vehicle as possible.

“It is hard to get out of as well because a lot of pinch wells in areas of the cars have noise vibration harshness form, and those will trap that in there. There is no amount of car washers and washing that’s going to get any of that out. So, the less you can get it on your car, the better. The soon you can get it off, the better. It acts as an electrolyte, and it immediately takes all the electrons out of the steel and causes it to corrode quickly."

The longer snow and road chemicals sit on a car, the more corrosion can develop in different places and cause more damage.