SOMEWHERE, DWIGHT SCHRUTE IS SMILING: New York State Will De-Ice Thruways with Beet Juice

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Schrute farmsALBANY, NY -- The New York State Thruway Authority announced today that in addition to rock salt, it will use an innovative anti-icing mix of sugar beet juice and brine used to pre-treat roadways before winter storms.

Authority Chairman Howard P. Milstein says the beet juice and brine mixture has in recent years proven to be an effective pre-treatment to prevent icing.

The Authority expects to use 50,000 gallons of beet brine mixture during the 2012-2013 winter season along with 180,000 tons of rock salt and 175,000 gallons of salt brine.

Dwight Kurt Schrute III is a character on NBC's The Office, portrayed by Rainn Wilson. Schrute is a salesmen at the fictional paper distribution company Dunder Mifflin and proprietor of Schrute Farms, a combination bed-and-breakfast/beet plantation.

NBC shot a pilot episode of a spin-off show from The Office. NBC reportedly passed on the show titled "The Farm".

“Motorists throughout New York State and beyond know that they can depend on Thruway staff to maintain safe driving conditions, even in tough winter weather conditions,” said Chairman Milstein. “Using the beet brine mixture to pre-treat roadways is just one example of how the Thruway Authority maintains one of America’s safest and most reliable superhighways even as we find new and better ways to control costs.”

“Troop T will be out in full force making sure the wintry roads are safe for our motorists,” said State. Police Troop T Sgt. Thomas Ferritto. “It is crucial that all motorists understand the importance of remaining alert and driving safely through all conditions. Troop T routinely patrols the Thruway on a regular basis and has radio communication with all necessary resources.”

Thruway Authority and State Police officials also encourage motorists to follow safety tips for the cold weather ahead:

Properly maintain your vehicle.
· Keep your fuel tank at least half full at all times.
· Warm up your vehicle in accordance with operating instructions, and remove all ice and snow from windows and vehicle surfaces before starting your trip.
· Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including blankets, gloves, hats, flashlight and extra batteries, a shovel, sack of sand, non-perishable food, water and any needed medication.
· Plan your trips carefully, listen to weather reports to find out weather conditions for your travel route.
· If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay there until it’s safe to pass.
· Be alert and allow extra distance between your vehicle and others. Remember that a snowplow driver has a limited field of vision, so stay back at least 15 car lengths until you’re sure it is safe to pass or until the plow pulls off the road.
· And, remember these important traffic laws: Always use your safety belt and require your passengers to do so, and don’t use hand-held communication devices while driving. Use your headlights, as required by law.

In case of an emergency, breakdown, or minor accident, motorists are reminded not to stop within travel lanes. If the vehicle can be driven, motorists should travel to the nearest exit or safe location. If the vehicle is inoperable, motorists should activate four-way flashers and park disabled vehicles on the right shoulder. Do not walk along the highway.
For Thruway assistance, tie a cloth to the driver side mirror and wait in the vehicle. Should an emergency occur, motorists are advised to call either 911 or the Thruway Statewide Operations Center at 1-800-842-2233.

During inclement weather, motorists will be advised of closures and delays through electronic signboards along the Thruway, TRANSalerts, and the Thruway Highway Advisory Radio (HAR). The HAR stations broadcast traffic advisories, road conditions, and safety tips to travelers 24-hours-a-day.

HAR is available on the following frequencies: New York City and Tappan Zee Bridge Corridor – 530 AM; Utica area – 540 AM; Newburgh, Kingston, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo areas – 1610 AM; Little Falls/Herkimer, Syracuse, Lafayette, Waterloo/Geneva – 1620 AM; Ripley – 98.7 FM.

Up-to-date information on road conditions is also available by calling 1-800-THRUWAY (1-800-847-8929) or by visiting www.thruway.ny.gov . For statewide traffic information, go to www.511ny.org .

To receive TRANSalert emails with information on Thruway traffic incidents and other timely information, go to: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml .

To see real-time webcam views of the Thruway, go to:
http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/map/index.html?layer=cameras .

To see an interactive map including Google traffic conditions for the Thruway and other roadways in New York State and beyond, go to: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/map/index.html?layer=traffic.

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