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ODOT on Track to Use 1 Million Tons of Salt This Winter
COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia) -- The Ohio Department of Transportation said Monday that it is on track to use one million tons of salt on state roads this winter, more than any other season on record. While ODOT is looking at some options to help communities find scarce road salt, the demand is outweighing supply.
Salt haulers said they have been working seven day a week and 15 hour a day this winter to fill customer orders from towns and cities. Henderson Trucking, based in Delaware said it normally has about 30 trucks hauling salt to communities, but it has tripled the force using contract workers.
Henderson Vice President Shaun Henderson said the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) gave trucking companies the authority to haul without hour restrictions this year in an effort to get the salt out more quickly to those in need.
"Our drivers have been working hard. Obviously municipalities can't put it on the roads if they don't have it to spread, so we take that seriously," said Henderson.
Bruce Van Brimmer works for Henderson operating as a front end loader at the salt distribution center. It's been a frantic pace this winter, but Van Brimmer said it is a team effort to get the road salt to those in need.
"For safety reasons you got to take your time when you are running equipment like this, and drink a lot of Red Bull."
In east Columbus, the salt pile served by Henderson and seen by drivers on Interstate 670 near Leonard Avenue has dwindled. Henderson said they started with 850,000 tons, and the pile should be gone by the end of the week.
Now, haulers are going to Cleveland to get more salt.
"You can go up there and trucks can wait for several hours just to get a load of salt, so that makes it tough," said Henderson.
The haulers tell us they appreciate the extra money in their paycheck this winter, but are looking forward to warmer weather in a couple weeks.