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DOT's snow removal expenses add up

Posted December 28, 2010
Updated December 29, 2010

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— All primary and most secondary roads across the state were clear Tuesday, though some slick patches might remain from a winter storm that dropped up to a foot of snow across the region on Christmas weekend, the North Carolina Department of Transportation said.

“This is the best I’ve seen with the amount of snow that we’ve had, so they did an excellent job,” driver Sharon Gee said Tuesday.

Before the weekend storm, the DOT had spent $14 million on snow removal this fiscal year. The state budgets from July 1 to June 30.

Between paying overtime, hiring private contractors, fueling up vehicles and placing salt and sand on the roads, a statewide storm like the one that hit on Christmas can cost the DOT millions each day, officials said.

“It is very expensive, but it’s a service we need to provide,” DOT engineer Wally Bowman said.

The DOT spent more than $4.5 million clearing roads last February after a winter storm.

DOT engineers believe that once the clean-up of the most recent storm is complete, the state agency will be close to its total budget for this year with the busiest and typically most expensive months for snow removal – January and February – still to come.

“It’s not like we’re going to stop clearing the snow every time it snows between now and the end of the fiscal year,” Bowman said.

Bowman said more money for snow means less money for roads later in the year, including expenses like maintenance, resurfacing, clearing ditches and grading secondary roads.

Many drivers said they want the state to spend whatever it takes to clear the roads because it’s good for safety and the economy.

DOT snow removal adds up DOT snow removal adds up

December’s snow removal expenses will be the highest in seven years, according to information released by the DOT on Tuesday. As of Friday, the state had already spent $11 million in December on snow removal, just below the $12.1 million spent last year at this time.

Overall, the state spent $65 million last fiscal year on snow removal.

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  • delilahk2000 Dec 29, 2010

    OLEGUY, YOU ARE SO RIGHT. THEY CAME DOWN MY ROAD AT LEAST EIGHT TIMES, AND THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT ON THE ROAD FROM THE FIRST TIME. WHEN THEY GOT TO THE END THEY SCRAPED UP ASPHALT AND LEFT THE ROAD IN A MESS. YES THEY DO A GREAT JOB, BUT STOP WASTING MONEY AND TIME WHEN THE ROAD IS DONE AND DON'T SCRAPE THE ROAD UP......

  • chfdcpt Dec 29, 2010

    And while I am at it, thank you DOT. I know that you folks were not the only ones working over the weekend nights, but I was inside in a warm center, while you folks were out there in the cold.

  • chfdcpt Dec 29, 2010

    "Are the DOT trucks used every week, or do we have them sitting around waiting to throw salt and sand on the road?...stevefi12345"

    No stevefi. They use regular dump trucks during the year. The dump trucks have the hydraulics built in the front of the truck so that they can attach the plow to it, and the box with the sand/salt spreader is placed in the dump bed.

    The same with the city dump trucks.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Dec 29, 2010

    I hear an investigation is going to take place. The Halsey Brine Barn may have to answer a lot of questions about why so many millions were used to treat roads 4 separate times for a total of 1.2" of snow.

  • driverkid3 Dec 29, 2010

    I have lived in NY, and still read the 2 daily papers on line. The got a lot more snow than we did and from what I see in the papers, the city is falling apart. They have the equipment to deal with it, we don't. We have roads cleared, they don't. I think DOT did a wonderful job, far better evidently than what NY is getting. Check out Daily news and Post for what they are going through, then thank your lucky stars for DOT instead of whining about them.

  • clayton bigsby Dec 29, 2010

    woohoo2you, i would love to see you on I40 with a shovel at 4 oclock in the morning when its 15 degrees LMAO

  • Munchie Dec 29, 2010

    yes i agree main roads were better than i've seen in years...once i was able to get out of my snow covered neighborhood!

  • godnessgracious Dec 29, 2010

    Maybe we can even get everyone to chip in a little money towards all the projects we are doing for the common good!

    Commie

  • WooHoo2You Dec 29, 2010

    "Well, I am quite shocked that it costs money for the government to provide services. Why don't we make them give back our $14m, and we can just band together and all the citizens can clear the roads ourselves. I'm sure we can do it much more efficiently - I have a shovel. While we're at it, we can form a citizen brigade to do road repairs, traffic light installations, and new road building projects as well.-
    mwilliams222

    Maybe we can even get everyone to chip in a little money towards all the projects we are doing for the common good!

  • Caveman93 Dec 29, 2010

    At least our money actually bought something of value like cleared roads.

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