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Rock salt contractors are having a hard time finding materials to keep Connecticut’s icy roads safe

road salt plow truck winter
Jo Zimney Photos

Rock salt is hard to come by in eastern Connecticut after a local New London supplier closed. Contractors use it to melt ice and snow from roads, sidewalks and parking lots during winter storms.

The company DRVN left its location at State Pier because the area is being redeveloped into a hub for the offshore wind industry.

Brian Luby, owner of Forest City Landscaping in Middletown, said the scarcity of rock salt may put the safety of his clients at risk.

“One of our accounts is the largest apartment complex in the state, and there are over 3,000 people that live there. And obviously everyone has some special needs,” Luby said. “There’s a lady on site that I know that’s blind and has her issues getting around and there are some other people on the property who are handicapped as well. When I can’t salt the property and I know in the back of my head that site is icy, I’m concerned.”

Luby said Gateway Terminal in New Haven is the only place he and many other contractors can find rock salt. He said high demand has caused delays of up to a week.

“I don’t have the DOT credentials to travel out of state and obviously that would be an enormous additional cost for me,” he said. “I’m just having a hard time understanding why the state would limit the sale just to one port in the state.”

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.
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