Are You Ready for the Road Salt Shortage?

Skyrocketing prices, a supply shortage, and recordbreaking snows last winter are challenging state DOTs and making them manage their salt supplies smarter.

The availability of salt this winter may be a slippery one, with salt hard to come by in some geographic areas and prices significantly more than last year.

The Midwest, in particular, is faced with salt supply issues this year, a problem that agencies were anticipating even prior to the start of the season. It’s usually not until the end of the snow and ice season – or during a particularly rough winter – that the salt  supply becomes an issue. So why is salt so hard to come by in some areas and why is it so expensive?

Salt itself is not in short supply, but moving the salt from other regions is the issue, Mark DeVries, maintenance superintendent/superintendent of operations for the McHenry County Division of Transportation in Woodstock, Ill., tells Better Roads magazine.

In fact, the expected salt shortage and prices that have doubled – and in some areas have tripled and quadrupled – is being attributed as the reason for a 120-ton theft of salt from a west suburban Chicago storage facility.

To learn more about how to handle the salt shortage this winter,  tips on how to make sure you don’t run out, and more on the Chicago-area salt thefts, check out a PDF of the blog-exclusive Road Manager article from Better Roads“Surviving the Great Salt Shortage.”