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Short On Ice Slicer, Crews Use Unique Road Clearing Ingredients

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)- This winter road crews have been extremely busy keeping the streets clear while snow continues to fall across Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is running low on Ice Slicer.

The City of Longmont is also running low and they are turning to a salt-sand mixture they haven’t used since 1997.

Fort Collins is using salt in a different way that most other places across Colorado are not.

“It’s not just a Colorado problem, it’s actually probably a national problem,” said Fort Collins Streets Superintendent Larry Schneider.

Fort Collins crews believe they’ve got the right solution: brine which is part salt, part water, part sugar beet juice and part calcium chloride.

Schneider said the brine de-icer is less corrosive than other forms and does not require magnesium chloride.

That’s important because a flurry of early winter storms has those supplies running low.

But Fort Collins makes its own brine.

“As far as I know we’re the only ones right now that are making brine,” said Schneider. “This way we put it into a solution, use less product and it goes to work quicker.”

Fort Collins makes more than 4,000 gallons of brine each hour and stores 40,000 gallons.

On Wednesday, crews in Fort Collins put down 45,000 gallons of their solution.

On average Fort Collins gets 14 to 16 snowstorms each season.

The city budgets more than $1 million for anti-icing and snow removal each season.

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