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Winter precautions: Contractors want more options for salt as more storms forecast

Contractors say the lack of options make it difficult to get salt on the roads and they might not be prepared for the next round of winter weather.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Dump truck contractors waited long hours for salt over the weekend in preparation for Monday’s wintry conditions.

They raised concerns about having enough salt with more winter storms in the forecast and demanded more options to purchase it.

The state’s only salt supplier tried to put them at ease, saying there is more than enough for everyone.

“At this time, no, there is no shortage that we have here,” James Dillman, President of Gateway Terminal told FOX61 on Monday. “We see plenty of salt that we have here on the ground between all of the suppliers here in New Haven.

“In addition to that we have another shipment that is coming here in the middle of this week and we have another shipment two weeks later.”

Gateway Terminal in New Haven is the only supplier in the state.

Contractors told FOX61 that the lack of options makes it difficult to get salt on the roads. They said it might create a shortage and they won’t be prepared for the next round of winter weather.

John Vasel with J.V. III Construction told FOX61 over the weekend that having Gateway Terminal as the only option is more costly and makes salt distribution difficult.

"We had 10 trucks here for almost 10 hours from the time we left our shop to the time we got loaded,” he said. “It cost me approximately $10,000 just to get loaded with a load of salt."

Dillman said trucks started loading salt early Monday. In response to questions about the long waits seen over the weekend, he said things were going well.

Contractors said they would continue to provide as much salt on the roadways as possible and urged drivers to stay clear of the trucks.

AAA agreed it's best to stay off the roads, but if necessary, drivers should proceed with caution, by driving slowly and checking the breaks of the car.

“Even if it seems like it’s just raining or sleeting lightly it’s really critical to slow down, increase your following distance, drive defensively, and turn on those headlights so you can see and be seen,” said Amy Parmenter, AAA Allied Group Manager of Public and Government Affairs.

She also suggested keeping an emergency kit in the car, which includes a car cell phone charger, blanket, first aid kit, ice scraper, water, and snacks to name a few.

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