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Maryland sweetens its stock of winter road weapons

HAGERSTOWN — The Maryland State Highway Administration says it is sweetening its winter weapon stockpile by adding more molasses to the mix.

The agency said Friday in Hagerstown that it has purchased 30,000 gallons of sugar beet molasses — a sticky, brown, agricultural product that increases the effectiveness of salt brine and reduces corrosion of salt-spreading equipment.

The molasses was tested last year in Howard and Frederick counties.

This year, it will be used in at least 10 counties, including the Maryland suburbs of Washington and western Maryland.

It’s not too soon for such preparations. The agency says more than 2 1/2 inches of snow have already fallen this year in far western Garrett County.