Vodka coming in handy for West Lafayette roads

The West Lafayette Street Department is staying ahead of these freezing temperatures thanks to an alcoholic beverage.

Posted: Jan 31, 2019 6:14 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2019 6:15 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The West Lafayette Street Department is staying ahead of these freezing temperatures.

The Street Department is treating the roads Thursday morning for the next round of snow coming in Thursday evening. The salt solution the workers normally use on the roads is only effective down to 15 degrees.

That's where the departments new solution, called IBG Magic which is short for "Ice B' Gone", comes in handy. IBG is an organic solution and it uses a byproduct of vodka.

Street Commissioner Ben Anderson ordered IBG because it works in -30 degree temperatures. It's an additive put into the current brine solution the workers use to treat the roads.

The department is always trying to improve the ways they can provide public safety.

"It gives us just a little bit more protection, if you will, to try to keep the roads clear of ice build up or slick slick conditions," Anderson said.

When the solution is added, the street department can use less salt to treat the roads. Anderson said it does not leave a lot of residue that can end up in the streams and rivers.

Anderson said the next problem the city will be facing involves potholes. The water that melts and refreezes in the roads will expand and cause problems. He said a pothole can form in the matter of hours.

Anderson does not know how bad the potholes will be this year, but he knows they will start to pop up soon.

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