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Gateway’s road salt business in Montville draws scrutiny

Thomas Brueckner

Gateway Terminal is expanding their business to Montville. The harbor management company operates State Pier in New London and the Port of New Haven.

It has secured the former site of the coal-fired power station AES Thames Cogeneration and WestRock corrugated packaging plant to run a road salt distribution center to serve eastern Connecticut.

Steve Farrelly, the owner of DRVN Enterprises, had operated in New London until he was displaced by Connecticut Port Authority and their competitor Gateway when they began redeveloping the State Pier for the offshore wind industry.

“I believe that they’re following my lead. I think they took a page out of my book,” Farrelly said. “So, the fact that they’re doing it proves that there has always been the need, which you know, DRVN recognized, and we addressed it 8 years ago for a salt pile in the southeastern corner of Connecticut for better salt distribution.”

Farrelly was forced to relocate from eastern Connecticut. Last winter, Gateway had long delays because they were the only facility supplying road salt to the entire state.

Gateway could not be reached for comment. The company has said it hopes to have their new salt distribution center open ahead of the winter season this year.

Its parent company, Enstructure, told the CT Examiner that with their access to the Thames River and nearby railway, they hope to explore other uses for the site beyond just salt.

Farrelly also has concerns about Gateway’s new Montville location near a residential community.

“When I looked at the property, one concern was that I didn’t want to deal with the liability of, you know, going up and down that road with trucks that you can’t monitor all day long,” Farrelly said. “Sooner or later something could happen, because you’re in that residential area. I don’t think that’s a good mix.”

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.