NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio - As motorists continue to battle icy conditions on roadways, the city of North Ridgeville is getting ahead of the game, sprinkling a new deicer called Clearlane that is supposed to make driving in bad weather easier.
"We're using less, it's coming up wetter faster," said Public Works truck driver Norm Wohlever who swears by the product.
"I don't have to go over my roads as many times, so yes it does make my job a little easier. Soon as you put it down, it literally starts working."
North Ridgeville's service department has tested the product on State Routes 10 and 83 and Interstate 480. They'll test Center Ridge Road for the rest of the year.
Street Superintendent Al Swindig said so far Clearlane has proven safer and less expensive than rock salt.
"It's just a treated salt, treated with magnesium chloride and stuff comes off the spinners. It doesn't bounce off the road. Wherever you lay it down when it comes off the spinner, that's where it stays," he explained.
Swindig said Clearlane even works in below zero temperatures.
So, we decided to put the product to the test. With the regular rock salt in one hand and the Clearlane in another, we tossed both products against a smooth vertical surface. The regular rock salt rolled off onto the ground; Clearlane stuck to the surface.
Makers said Clearlane is also environmentally safer than rock salt.
"It's made with an EPA approved corrosion inhibitor and less chloride, so it's expected to help extend the life of the salting equipment," said Swindig.
For North Ridgeville, it just made sense.
"It just made so much sense to us because we don't have to pay the expense to have treated salt because those trucks have to be equipped with different machinery to actually treat the salt where this stuff already comes treated. And it's environmentally friendly," Swindig said.
North Olmsted and Middleburg Heights have also been using the Clearlane road salt.
The coated salt costs about $9 more than rock salt, but the agencies said they use 30 percent less of the Clearlane than the normal rock salt.