INDIANAPOLIS — A shortage of road salt and skyrocketing salt prices could mean slippery roads this winter in communities across the nation as officials struggle to keep pavement clear of snow and ice without breaking their budgets.
Heavy snow last year heightened demand for salt, and now many towns can't find enough of it. The shortage could force many cities to salt fewer roads, increasing the risk of accidents. Other communities are abandoning road salt for less-expensive but also less-effective sand or sand-salt blends.
....Prices have also tripled from a year ago. The salt industry says the increased demand and higher fuel costs are to blame.
....Road salt — which, unlike table salt, is sold in large crystals — is transported by barge and truck from mines in Kansas, Louisiana and Texas. Some is shipped from as far away as Chile in South America.