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MN Brining Roads

MN Brining Roads Click to Enlarge

Cities across Minnesota are turning to spraying brine on roads to help keep them ice-free, with some saying it's better than salt.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has added brine sprayers to its fleet of 840 snowplows. Ramsey County almost tripled its salt-spraying capacity last winter.

Brooke Asleson manages programs to encourage salt spraying for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. She says spraying saltwater before a storm cuts the amount of salt on roads and reduces the amount of salt polluting rivers and lakes.

Brine-spraying trucks go out 24 to 48 hours before a storm. The trucks apply a thin coat of the salt mixture, which acts immediately on snow and ice and creates a barrier to prevent any new precipitation from sticking.

The city of Grand Forks has been using brine for several years.

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