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Auburn Hills Department of Public Services Has the Beet (Juice) for Environmentally Friendly Winter Road Maintenance

Also, City Council Approves Collaborative Agreement with Road Commission of Oakland County for Snow Removal on Two County Roads; Awaiting Final RCOC Okay

Auburn Hills, MI—December 4, 2012—The City of Auburn Hills, a dynamic community committed to innovation and growth, will continue to use Michigan-made ‘beet juice’ in its snow removal efforts again this year. While some observant drivers may see brown, the City is being green, according to members of the Auburn Hills Department of Public Services.

“What we call beet juice is actually a mixture of 20% sugar beet derived organic ice melting product and 80% liquid salt brine solution,” explained director of public services, Ron Melchert. “Auburn Hills uses it as an anti-icing, pre-winter storm treatment on city-owned bridge decks, select high-traffic intersections and substantial hills and curves to interrupt the bonding of packed snow and ice to the pavement. The result is safer road travel due to improved braking and traction performance during a winter snow storm and a more efficient and effective way of providing winter road maintenance.”

Drivers may notice an unusual substance on the road because the anti-icing liquid is applied in lines, and has the look and consistency of maple syrup. Areas that have been treated using the anti-icing program often require little or no salt once the roadway is plowed. The approach is also more environmentally friendly because it uses less salt per event to clear city roads and can last two-three days if there is no rain to wash it away.

Dan Brisson, Roads and Facilities Manager for Auburn Hills, says a 725 gallon liquid tank of the beet and brine mixture can be used to treat approximately 35 lane miles of City roadway. It’s also a Michigan-made product.

“The city currently purchases the organic product from Advance Dust Control in East Lansing, which uses sugar beets harvested from the Michigan thumb area. The salt brine used in the anti-icing and pre-wetting programs is manufactured on-site at Auburn Hills’ Department of Public Services,” said Brisson.

Through a combination of updating nine city dump trucks with computer controlled salt spreading equipment and implementing anti-icing and pre-wetting programs, Auburn Hills has seen a 30% reduction in salt use since 2008.

In other road maintenance news, the Auburn Hills City Council voted last night to approve a collaborative Winter Roads Maintenance Agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). The agreement is now pending approval by the RCOC’s Board of Directors. Under the agreement, Auburn Hills would provide snow removal and ice control on two RCOC roads, South Blvd from Adams to Opdyke and Adams Road from South Blvd to the Rochester Hills city limit, for an annual fee to the City of $15,291.

About Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills is home to more than 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at