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Colorado dealer campaigns against use of magnesium chloride on ice

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Gary Bergman, owner of Meadowcreek Tire in Frisco, Colo., is doing all he can to rid the state of what he considers to be a bad habit.

The state uses magnesium chloride instead of salt to melt ice on the roads. Bergman says this causes problems on many levels, not the least of which is the premature corroding of car parts like tie-rod ends and ball joints.

"The damage the magnesium chloride is causing is absolutely unbelievable," he says.

He says the owner of a Plymouth Breeze recently had to shell out $1,600 because the vehicle's ball joints came apart prematurely. Bergman blames this on magnesium chloride.

Magnesium chloride also does the following, according to Bergman.

* causes channel cracking in tires and dries them out.

* eats away at the concrete on overpasses.

* mists up into the air and damages power lines.

He says the county has claimed that it's not only less expensive than sand, but also

does less damage. However, his own experience and studies by universities in Colorado and Utah prove otherwise, he adds.

The county commissioners are finally convinced. Tomorrow, Bergman and the Summit (Colorado) County Commissioners will argue their case before the State of Colorado Department of Transportation. Summit County is located 90 miles west of Denver.

Bergman has been lobbying against the use of magnesium chloride since 1997. He has written numerous articles on the subject, and has been involved in various research projects.

Bergman opened Meadowcreek Tire in 1973. Meadowcreek Tire also has a combination distribution center and retail location in Denver, and a licensee in Vail, Colo.

Other cities in Colorado, including Frisco, have outlawed the use of magnesium chloride.

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