Alter’s mountain of salt keeping road crews stocked

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This fairly regular dose of snow keeps one Quad Cities business very busy.

Crews are digging into a mountain of salt at Alter Logistics to keep road crews stocked.

Back-to-back snow and ice storms can eat into the supply of sodium chloride for road departments, especially when they need to put down a new layer on the streets with each storm. 

Motorist Steve Knight  said, “This is the worst winter I can remember since 1979.”

For drivers, being on the roads haven’t been fun for the last few weeks.

Knight said, “Worrying about if the county roads have snow blowing over or in town it’s turning to ice or just this morning, getting onto the on-ramp onto I-74 there was a semi that got stuck.”

And the forecast doesn’t look to cooperate.

Knight said, “Seems like every other day there’s more snow coming in.”

As road crews hustling to keep up, there’s another part of the supply chain dealing with the brunt of this winter.

General Manager at Alter Logistics Doug Weber said, “We working extra hours to get everybody stocked so they can take care of the roads.”

At Alter Logistics in Rock Island, while it’s busy most of the year, right now the focus is on the train of semis seeking salt every day.

Weber said, “9,000 tons [a week], that’s 25 tons per truck, so that’s a lot of trucks.”

They’re hauling it off to D-O-T, county and city departments in need of the crystals to melt the pavement.
But it’s been a long time since they’ve had a year like this.

Weber said, “This has been uncanny. I’ve seen a lot of places say they’re out of salt, where some of the municipalities are sending in their own trucks because the trucking companies can’t keep up with demand.”

With what this winter keeps bringing, drivers are taking notice. 

Knight said, “I thought they would have run out of salt, ahead of time by now but apparently they’re keeping up with it.”

Alter supplies salt was far as Iowa City and Bloomington-Normal areas.

They start stocking up in the spring with barges building up the mountain through the fall in preparation for the winter to come.

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