KYTC worried salt supplies reaching critical levels - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

KYTC worried salt supplies reaching critical levels

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There's less than 70,000 tons of salt left statewide. There's less than 70,000 tons of salt left statewide.
The cabinet is ordering 90,000 tons of more salt. The cabinet is ordering 90,000 tons of more salt.
John Wilcoxson John Wilcoxson

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Temperatures are up for now, but we've still got a way to go before March goes out like a lamb. The always changing weather in the Commonwealth has Kentucky Transportation Cabinet leaders worried about the state's remaining salt supplies.

If history is any indication, March isn't done with us yet. The average last measurable snowfall for Louisville is March 14 and the average last trace of snowfall for the city is April 14. With that in mind, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is telling all 12 of it's Highway Districts to conserve, conserve, conserve.

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There's less than 70,000 tons of salt left statewide. Although that sounds like a lot, it isn't.

It puts Kentucky salt supplies at a critical level. It could mean trouble if several counties needed help in another major winter event. The salt is being shifted among districts. The biggest use of salt ever came a few years ago when 490,000 tons was needed. So far this season? We are close to that as highway districts have gone through 410,000 tons of salt. One year ago, we only used 160,000 tons.

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The plan now? John Wilcoxson with the Cabinet's Division of Maintenance said, "One thing we do is cutting back on the rate of our application," he said. "Normally we would use about 250,000 pounds of salt per two lane mile of road and we're cutting that back."

The cabinet is ordering 90,000 tons more. It should get here in the next few weeks.

Getting to a salt crisis level has been expensive for Kentucky. The state has already spent $53 million this season on snow removal.

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