Salt isn't as desirable as it used to be on the road.

I know every town faces some adversity trying to keep its roads clear of snow all winter. Some towns seem to have it nailed, others just seemingly don't care at all. And still, other towns have no budget for their own public works and rely on the state to get it done. But those roads can't just clear themselves, for sure.

There's also a lot of debate about the best method to keep the snow and ice in check. Most towns have a budget set aside for salt and sand. The two are often mixed together to provide the most traction so we don't all go slip-sliding all over the place. But there's quite a movement to use less salt.

Some of the ideas for replacements are pretty weird.

According to WGME, the state is recognizing that salt pretty much rots out cars, isn't really all that great for the road anyway, and is bad for the environment as the runoff gets into our lakes and streams over time. But the alternatives seem much less effective and much more expensive.

Some states are using things like beet juice or even cheese brine to treat their roads. But that'll just make our roads tasty, and probably not provide the kind of melting that we need. The beet juice just makes things a little sticky and weird, and the cheese brine probably isn't all that different than the brine that the Maine DOT already uses.

It'll definitely take some time to figure out, but the Maine DOT is partnering with the University of Maine to come up with some new solutions. Whatever happens, I hope they come up with a suitable alternative, and that they start using it where I live. This guy is tired of sliding into a ditch at 8 mph... Just sayin'.


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