Connecticut communities have a new source for road salt

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NEW LONDON–As if this winter hasn’t been tough enough on southeastern Connecticut, many of those communities are now dealing with a salt shortage.  But a whale of a new source for salt is saving the day.

Beneath a massive black tarp at State Pier in New London sits more than 30,000 tons of treated road salt, delivered just last week by ship from Peru. Not a bad time for the Whaling City to receive its first bulk salt shipment ever.

“Typically, you’d have to get it out of one of the major ports, like New Haven or Rhode Island,” said Dave DeNoia, superintendent of New London Public Works.

New London stopped getting their road salt out of Gateway Terminal in New Haven after last year, when they experienced shortages.

“And, we had to purchase some salt that the state of Connecticut had in reserve,” added DeNoia, who noted that Norwich also helped New London last winter.

This year, New London struck a deal with Wethersfield-based Drvn Enterprises, which was able to purchase a ship full of salt in January that was delivered to New London February 26.

Down to approximately 200 tons of salt for the city, DeNoia placed an order Friday afternoon with Drvn for an addition 500 tons, which should take the city through two more storms.

Neighboring Waterford just recently began purchasing product from Drvn also after experiencing inconsistent service from Morton Salt, which announced earlier this week it was out of product at Gateway Terminal.

“We had a couple of scares where we thought we were going to run out and luckily didn’t,” said Kristin Zawacki, director of Waterford Public Works, who said these close calls forced her to look for alternative sources.

New London’s Public Works director, Tim Hanser, reached out to southeastern Connecticut communities to tell them about Drvn. “It was very good of him to share that information because we are all in this together,” said DeNoia, who has worked for Public Works for 15 years.

Morton Salt tells Fox CT their Gateway Terminal supply has been replenished by a shipment of 31,000 tons of salt that arrived in port Thursday.