Many parts of the
East Coast are facing significantly higher costs for road salt, causing budget
problems and threatening governments’ ability to keep roads clean during the
winter months, media outlets throughout the region reported.
- The New Haven Register reported the price paid by the
Connecticut DOT jumped from $8.50 per ton to $44.05 per ton;
- The Westwood Press reported that Massachusetts
communities’ cost went from $32 per ton to $47 per ton;
- In New
Hampshire, the Laconia Citizen reported
that the cost of salt went from $32.71 a ton to $44.71 per ton; and
- WNNE-TV said the price in Vermont has increased
$10 to $12 a ton.
The price hikes are
not being caused by a shortage of salt, but rather by a shortage of
transportation. Many communities in the mid-Atlantic and New England states
rely on barges to ship the salt in. Barges are instead focusing on more
profitable loads, leading to an artificial shortage of the vital ice-melting
Some governments are
trying to adjust their budgets to accommodate the increases, but some
communities are concerned that paying more for salt will take money from other
parts of their transportation budgets.