Pass the salt: Worries about supply for winter road treatments

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Minnesota motorists may be forced onto a sort of low-sodium diet this winter as concern about adequate road salt supplies begins to build.

The Associated Press reports the supply is tight because so much salt was used last winter. The frigid weather and record-setting temperatures ate through salt stockpiles. The report also said states in the Midwest face prices that are as much as twice what they were last season.

The Brainerd Dispatch reports the city's supplier sold only half of Brainerd's normal ration of salt – 125 tons, compared to the usual 250 tons – because of the shortage. The story says the city is looking to other suppliers to find additional tonnage, and may dilute its sand-salt mixture to extend the supply.

The shortage is also pushing up the price for Brainerd, which paid $102 per ton, a significant increase over the $75 per ton its previously paid. ABC6 in Austin, Minnesota quotes the city finance director there, who said the price of salt Austin buys is going up by $10 per ton.

The story cites a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in Rochester, who told the station the southeastern part of the state may have readier access to supplies because of its proximity to the Mississippi River.

"Much of the salt is brought up by barge, so our shipping costs are less than if you live in Bemidji or Moorhead," the DOT's Mike Dougherty explained.

A national review of the road salt shortage by the Washington Post puts Minnesota in better shape than many other snowbelt states. The story said many Minnesota communities are paying about 4 percent more for salt, because the state secured supplies last spring before prices jumped. The story said that Wisconsin is paying 14 percent more and prices jumped by 46 percent in Michigan.

Next Up

Kaprizov, Wild

Wild to face Vegas in playoffs; Game 1 Sunday

Game 1 is Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas.

Eric Kendricks

Coller: Do the Vikings have a tough schedule?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2020-01-02 at 7.54.07 AM

Grand jury indicts 2 with aiding and abetting murder of Minneapolis Realtor

Four people have now been indicted by a grand jury in connection to the 2019 killing of Monique Baugh.

Nelson Cruz

White Sox sweep Twins for first time since 2016

The Twins' offense disappeared in a 4-2 loss on Thursday.

Mike Hughes

Report: Vikings trade Mike Hughes to Kansas City

The Vikings received a 2022 sixth-rounder in exchange for the former first-round pick.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Backup from fatal crash in Stearns County leads to another bad crash

The crash backed up traffic, which led to another crash in which two people were injured.

Gluten free pizza

For The Week: Monster cookies, and a search for the best gluten-free pizza in MN

BMTN food writer Lindsay Guentzel's weekly column aims to make life in the kitchen easier.

Flickr - SIMULIIDAE black fly gnat - D. Sikes

South Twin Cities metro besieged by aggressive gnats

Metropolitan Mosquito Control District has received more than 100 calls in recent days.

Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater criticizes Panthers' practice habits

The former Vikings quarterback was not a fan of his time in Carolina.

Related