Treacherous Temperatures Call For Special Salt Mixture

January 3, 2014 Updated Jan 3, 2014 at 8:38 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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January 3, 2014 Updated Jan 3, 2014 at 8:38 AM EDT

Amherst (WKBW):

Highway departments want to cut back on that slippery slush and ice that could cause problems for drivers. The Amherst Highway Department uses an additive found in beer in their salt mixture. They claim it's the key to keeping roads safe for travel.

"Basically, when you get down to the single digits, the regular salt just doesn't work because the moisture that's in the salt just doesn't do its job and perform the way it should," said Al Spoth, Amherst Highway Department.

The additive is called brine and it's an environmentally friendly byproduct that's made from a spin-off of a beer process. Brine adds moisture to the salt and allows it to do its job out on the road. In Amherst, road crews have about 7-tons of salt on hand and they plan to use almost all of it up.

While the salt helps with the ice and snow, bundling up in hats, coats and layers will help take care of the frigid cold.