Local News

DOT Crews Slowly Get To Wake County Roads

Posted January 26, 2004 5:33 a.m. EST

— More than a day after the

snow started to fall

, some Wake County roads are still an icy mess. Many people wonder why Department of Transportation crews are taking awhile to get to their roads, but officials said it comes down to economics and the increasing workload.

Fifty DOT workers and 20 contractors hit the icy roads Monday morning to tackle the icy roads, but hours later, some roads were still snow-covered to the dismay of many motorists.

"The Beltline is a lot worse because all of this stuff has accumulated on it and whenever you try to change lanes to exit, it's really hard," motorist Jessica Johnson said.

"It's like running through sand at some places," motorist Joel Petlick said.

DOT engineer Jerry Linder said part of the problem is the amount of work his office is expected to complete. He said his crews have 3,000 miles of highway and state-maintained roads to clear.

Wake County's DOT office has more miles to cover than any other DOT office in the state. Wake County's DOT covers 40 miles per piece of equipment. By comparison, Durham County covers 25 miles per piece of equipment and Franklin County has to clear 23 miles per piece of equipment.

Linder said his resources are not proportional to the workload. He said it comes down to economics. Linder said the state sees it as more economical to invest more money for equipment to handle new roads in the area rather than purchasing snow removal equipment.

The DOT has more than 6,000 workers and almost 2,800 pieces of equipment working on the roads statewide. Crews are working on interstates first, followed by major U.S. and North Carolina routes and then secondary roads.