Road Salt Supply Low, Demand High As Winter Looms

CBS Detroit

By JEFF KAROUB
Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) – The reward for surviving last winter’s frigid temperatures and record snowfall, several states are learning, is drastic price increases for road salt – in some cases, five times as expensive as last season.

And that’s even if they can get it.

Replenishing stockpiles is proving challenging, especially for some Midwestern states, after salt supplies were depleted to tame icy roads last winter. Price increases of at least 20 percent have been common in several cities, including Boston and Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Everybody is kind of scrambling around right now, contacting anybody they know who may have some salt available,” said Fred Pausch, chief of the County Engineers Association of Ohio.

Some local governments are avoiding the problem thanks to multi-year contracts or secured bids. Chicago, for example, used roughly three times more salt last winter – 436,000 tons – than it did…

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