Wanted: Road Salt for Conn. Contractors | NECN
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NECN Business

Wanted: Road Salt for Conn. Contractors



    (NECN: Brian Burnell, Farmington, Conn.) - Warmer weather in New England is giving people a chance in Connecticut to catch up on clearing snow, which is a good thing, considering there isn't enough road salt to go around.

    The state of Connecticut has enough salt to handle its roads and dole out to towns that need it. However, those with private plows are in a bind.

    Dunning Sand and Gravel in Farmington is the place to come for road salt and sand, but Ben Dunning says this year has been really tough to keep up with demand.

    "This is the first just straight salt that we've probably gotten in two weeks ... [It's] almost impossible to find it. We've gone as far up as Bangor, Maine, out to upstate New York, Burlington, Vt., anywhere we can," Dunning says.

    The shortage doesn't mean driveways and parking lots go untreated; they are just treated differently. A lot of operators usually use treated salt.

    Charlie Drabek is a contractor who’s been coming to Dunning for years.

    "And I've been coming here for this whole winter and this is the first time he actually ran out of treated salt and I actually had to go to a sand-salt mix now," Drabek said.

    Which works and is, in some ways, better than straight salt.

    Sonny Fishis, another contractor, points out, "Salt, all it does is destroy the undercarriage of the truck, cars.  Grass does not grow where you spread salt."

    How bad is this shortage? Well, 40,000 tons of salt is being held up and is not able to get to New Jersey, where, in that state, they're dumping what they call a briny mixture on the roads to melt them down.