Crews, Budgets Prepared For Winter Road Clean-Up

8 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, December 22 2010 Dec 22, 2010 Wednesday, December 22, 2010 6:47:05 PM CST December 22, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Despite the rough economy, public works officials said Wednesday that Columbia and MoDOT budgets are ready to take on the holiday winter weather. Both groups' budgets are set up to include overtime and holiday pay if snow and ice become an issue over the weekend. MoDOT District 5 engineer Roger Schwartze said keeping the roads clear and safe for drivers is the primary concern, not money.

MoDOT generally spends $40 million on snow removal statewide. Schwartze said so far this winter the department has only spent about 10 percent of that total.

The city of Columbia has also prepared a budget for holiday clean-up work.  Street and storm water maintenance supervisor Sam Thomas said crews will receive holiday pay along with time and a half if they work on a holiday. Thomas said the extra pay shouldn't cause any budget strains.

"It's pretty much set up to where we typically have enough funds to make it throughout our winter within budget," Thomas said.

Trucks are ready for action as well, with plows attached, routine checks and plenty of stored salt. Schwartze said MoDOT uses around 30,000 tons of salt every winter in Mid-Missouri alone, all for the safety of travelers.

"Our guys our crews want to have the roads cleaned off as quick as possible so people can travel safely down the road and arrive alive," MoDOT maintenance supervisor Dwane Vandelicht said.

Crews taking care of the roads also are prepared to miss the holiday at home.

"Over the years just realized that you know I never really did get to go sledding with my kids," Vandelicht said. 

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