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Region-Wide Sand/Salt use up

Officials throughout the region are using more sand and salt on area roads this winter.  An unusual number of ice storms and temperature fluctuations have many local highway departments exhausting their supplies at a rapid pace.

Officials throughout the region are using more sand and salt on area roads this winter. An unusual number of ice storms and temperature fluctuations have many local highway departments exhausting their supplies at a rapid pace. Seth Lang

— Officials throughout the region are using more sand and salt on area roads this winter. An unusual number of ice storms and temperature fluctuations have many local highway departments exhausting their supplies at a rapid pace.

“The ice storms we’ve had this year have demanded a significant more amount of sand and salt than normal snow storms,” said Westport Highway Superintendent Dennis Westover. “We’ve already used what we did all of last year and there’s still a lot of winter left.”

The town of Moriah is facing a similar plight, according to Moriah Highway Superintendent Jamie Wilson.

“We’ve depleted most of our reserve, and still have not received a salt order we placed before Christmas,” Wilson said.

According to the Essex County Department of Public Works Supervisor Anthony LaVigne, the cost of transportation to the county is compounding the problem.

“Essex County has the highest cost of transportation because it’s the furthest distance from any of the sources,” LaVigne said.

“If, in fact, there is a demand for more supply we can purchase it from a privately contracted company and there would be no additional cost because our bid is done on an annual basis,” LaVigne said.

Livigne pointed out that the county tries to keep at least a 30 percent reserve at all times, maintaining 9,000 - 10,000 yards for an estimated annual use of 6,000 yards.

Hamilton County is also having a problem with transportation.

“We’ve had a problem with our contractor getting salt, but haven’t heard anything from the Department of Transportation (DOT) in regards to a shortage of any kind,” said Hamilton County Highway Superintendent Tracy Eldridge.

Deputy Highway Superintendent of Operations in Warren County Todd Beadnell also mentioned delivery issues in their county.

“We received a call from the town of Ticonderoga stating they’re having delivery issues with salt,” said Beadnell. “The county supply is all set, however, we have enough reserve.”

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