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Transportation and Works denies report it’s low on salt, sand

A handful of salt used by government vehicles to make provincial roads safer.
A handful of salt used by government vehicles to make provincial roads safer.

It’s been a rough year for roads, with noticeable ice buildup increasing the need for salt and sand to reduce slickness.

Though it could not provide any exact figures, the Department of Transportation and Works confirmed last week it has used more salt and sand on the Avalon Peninsula so far this winter compared to the last one, citing higher snowfall amounts as a contributing factor.

However, it denies there’s any concerns about depots running out of either material, adding it’s quote common for depots to order more salt and sand during the winter.

The topic came up at the Jan. 23 Carbonear council meeting when the director of public works presented his report. Brian O’Grady discussed how the town recently picked up 1,600 tonnes of salt and sand and delivered it to the new depot property on Pike’s Lane.

A heavy equipment operator inspects one of the province’s salt trucks at the depot in St. John’s.

“With the unusual conditions with freeze-thaw this year, you know where we’re getting a lot of mild days and freezing at night, so we’re getting a lot of ice and whatnot,” he told council members. “So as a result, it’s been a little bit of a difficult winter on salt and sand.”

He then noted when the salt and sand was picked up at a Transportation and Works depot, town staff were told the depot was at risk of running out.

“So I made haste to make sure we got ours. So but anyway, we’ll continue to monitor the consumption, and I’ll report as we move forward,” said O’Grady.

Carbonear municipal workers used a new tandem truck to pick up the salt and sand. In years past, the town would pay for delivery at a typical cost of almost $13,000.

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