UDOT Warns Storm Will Impact Most Utah Roads
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The snowstorm intensifying across Utah right now will likely continue through much of the night. UDOT plows have already been at work since four o’clock Tuesday morning and this statewide storm should impact most of our neighborhoods and roads before it is over.
“We’re having a good winter… we’re having a good Utah winter,” said Jake Brown, the UDOT Station Supervisor who manages the snow plowing in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons in Salt Lake County.
Snowstorm intensifies on the east benches of the Wasatch Front. I’ll give you a live look at five and six @KSL5TV, and let you know how the state is doing on its snow removal budget this winter. @UtahDOT @UTHighwayPatrol #KSLTV @kslnewsradio pic.twitter.com/UfakabCadI
— Jed Boal (@jedboal) February 5, 2019
“It’s heavy, wet, dense snow up in the canyons,” he said. “Our weather guys are saying we’re going to get some pretty high intensity snow. So, we’re planning lots of snow control work.”
If you are headed up Little or Big Cottonwood Canyon, UDOT restrictions require that you have chains or four-wheel drive, as of Tuesday afternoon. Check ahead because UDOT expects periodic road closures while crews make the roads safe for travel.
“Make sure you’re prepared for winter driving conditions,” said Brown. “We want you to come up. We want you to enjoy the resorts. But, be prepared.”
“It’s been an active pattern over the last few months now, and that’s going to continue,” said John Gleason, UDOT Spokesman.
In December and January, state plow drivers collectively logged nearly 840,000 miles pushing snow during 27,000 hours of work, according to UDOT. They’ve also spread more than 87,000 tons of salt on our roads. Utah budgets $24.1 million each year for snow removal. So far, it has spent 60% of that.
“That’s in line with what we predict that we’ll need about this time of year,” said Gleason.
Last year, with fewer storms, UDOT did not spend it all.
“All of that money gets rolled back into the roads,” said Gleason. “We use it to perform some types of maintenance activities that typically would fall in the spring time.”
Two years ago, when the state experienced above average snowfall, UDOT went over budget and had to dip into an emergency fund.
“We generally keep about $2 million of extra money in the maintenance funds that we can use to make sure that the roads are getting plowed,” he said.
UDOT says they are prepared, even if they plow through that money.
“We are always going to plow the roads and make sure that they’re safe. That’s the number one priority,” Gleason said.
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