Updated 12/28/2010 05:59 AM
Molasses mixture used on winter roadways
The weekend storm caught the attention of many in the Northeast. And one village in Herkimer County is ready, if and when, Mother Nature takes a turn north this season. Our Sarah Hagen was the latest on why a molasses-mixture is being used on some roadways.
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HERKIMER, N.Y. -- Department of Public Works employee Michael Miller said, "We know it can come at any time."
And when it does, crews at the Herkimer Village Department of Public Works say they're ready.
Miller said, "We figured out we can go out ahead of the storm and pre-treat the roads, this stuff will stay. Plain salt would blow away."
This winter, they're using molasses, a sticky additive now combined with the salt that goes on the roadways. Molasses is expected to increase the effectiveness of the salt, which the Village Street Superintendent says is pricey.
Herkimer Village DPW Street Superintendent Peter Macri Jr. said, "Save money, they made cuts to the budget. So we have to reduce our sand salt budget and save the taxpayers' money."
The sticky substance allows the salt to work longer and for crews to work less. A notion that was proved to be true with the last storm they had.
Miller said, "The guys say it's been working great, they've been out one time and the roads stayed good throughout the day."
Those in charge here at the village DPW say there's only so much they can do with the plowing, salt, sand and molasses mixtures and in the end , the safety of the winter roads is also up to the drivers.
Macri Jr. said, "We can make the streets as safe as possible, but the ultimate thing is the people driving, they need to be aware of the road conditions."
Conditions that can change quickly at the whim of Mother Nature.