UPDATED 5:11AM 02/10/14 -- The harsh winter season has Kentucky officials looking for ways to conserve dwindling salt supplies.
Officials say less than 150,000 tons of salt are on hand with more winter left.
On average, the Transportation Cabinet uses 200,000 to 250,000 tons of salt a year. So far this winter, crews have spread more than 300,000 tons.
As a result, when conditions permit, crews will rely more on plowing and less on treatment with salt.
Officials say salt reserves across Kentucky are dwindling. Even the state's largest reserve, at the Louisville Mega Cavern, has been tapped.
The cabinet started this winter with a 60,000-ton emergency reserve inside Mega Cavern.
As of Friday, the reserve was down to 26,000 tons. And the 12 districts of the Department of Highways had requested 18,000 tons of the reserve to replenish supplies.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A busy winter weather season has the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet looking for ways to conserve salt used to clear roads of ice and snow.
Crews have spread more than 300,000 tons of salt on Kentucky roads this winter. The state uses 200,000 to 250,000 tons of salt a year, on average.
With less than 150,000 tons available, engineers are finding ways to stretch current supplies. Crews will rely more on plowing and less on salt treatment.
Officials say salt shipments have slowed and new supplies are hard to find. Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock says the state must be careful to ensure supplies don't run out.
The transportation cabinet says its priority is to treat the state highway system, including interstates, parkways and four-lane roads.
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