Snow Plows Continue Even As Snow Budget Completely Spent
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — It’s been a budget-busting winter for UDOT snowplow crews. Snowplow demands this snowy winter exceeded Utah’s budget by more than $4 million, and that doesn’t even include today’s storm.
They used up their plowing budget several weeks ago, and there’s still more plowing to be done.
“It doesn’t seem to be letting up at all,” said John Gleason, a UDOT Spokesman. “So, we are looking at a situation where we’re over the estimated budget that we had for plowing our roads.”
Fortunately, they do not stop plowing the roads. Motorists ran into mid-winter conditions on the roads up in the Cottonwood Canyons and elsewhere in the state today. In the middle of the day, snow was coming down at a rate of about a half an inch to an inch an hour with blizzard conditions.
UDOT budgeted $24.1 million this year for snow removal. So far, they have spent $28.5 million, not including today’s storm.
Utah keeps a two million dollar emergency fund. They’ve already gone through that, too.
To keep plowing, they need to use money from their spring road maintenance budget, essentially pulling money from other projects.
“It’s one of the most important things that we do as a department,” said Gleason. “It is something that we’re going to continue to do throughout the spring as long as we need to, we’ll be plowing the roads to make sure they’re safe.”
Take a look at the snow conditions up in the Cottonwood Canyons today. @UtahDOT has already busted it snow removal budget for the year. Coming up at 5&6 @KSL5TV I’ll show you what they do to keep plowing through a wintry spring. @kslnewsradio #ksltv pic.twitter.com/5rZP9ACfQ0
— Jed Boal (@jedboal) April 10, 2019
The plow crews have registered some impressive numbers this season. UDOT crews have plowed nearly two million miles since Christmas. They’ve put in more than 250,000 hours of labor and spread more than 275,000 cubic yards of salt.
When the plowing stops, maintenance crews will prioritize immediate road repairs, like filling potholes, because of the damage done this winter.
“The thing that we’re going to be focusing on is keeping our roads safe,” said Gleason.
They’ll also make sure culverts and waterways near roads are clear before spring runoff really gets raging.
“With all of the precipitation, you could see some flooding concerns.”
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