Budget cuts force MoDOT to scale back winter operations - KMOV.com

Budget cuts force MoDOT to scale back winter operations

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By Lakisha Jackson By Lakisha Jackson

(KMOV) -- It’s news drivers don’t want to hear days before a snow storm: The Missouri Department of Transportation is scaling back operations, due to budget cuts.

MoDOT, like most state agencies, is being forced to do more with less.   This year, approximately 410 workers will be out in the field treating the roads, compared to 450 last year.  In addition, the fleet of MODOT vehicles has shrunk from 220 to 200.

MoDOT District Maintenance Engineer Julie Allmeroth said drivers will not notice a major difference in the quality of snow removal.  She pointed out, however, that crews will stop operations before the roads are bare and dry.

"When the speed and the traffic is already travelling at the speed limit, you may have a small ribbon of snow still on the center line, but it's not going to impact the safety of the travelling public,” she said. “You won't even notice. But we're not going to be out there scraping down to bare pavement like we have previously."

MoDOT said overnight, emergency crews will monitor for slick spots. And as always, it will prioritize roads by type and regional significance. Crews will begin treating the interstates, and then move to secondary roads.

Allmeroth added that drivers can expect to see a smaller fleet of gang plows. The work typically accomplished by seven trucks may now be completed by four or five trucks equipped to handle the same job, she said.

MoDOT recently reviewed areas of work to determine ways to increase efficiency and save money. It estimates a one-time savings of $12 million and annual, ongoing savings of $20 million.

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