PennDOT winter cleanup budget feeling stressed

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 21, 2014 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- A busy winter has PennDOT ahead of its budget projections for snow cleanup.

With about half of the winter season in the books, PennDOT is already more than half through its plowing, salting, and other cleanup money.

Snow plow

Spokeswoman Erin Waters Trassat says quick storms, especially ones overnight, have added unexpected costs.

When budgeting, she says the department relies on a 5 year average, but even that wasn't good enough this year.

"We do look at our budget carefully as the season goes on, but we're certainly not going to reach a point where we would cut back on a level of service or compromise safety. What we would do is we would take budget away from our spring maintenance, for activities like patching potholes and other paving activities," says Waters Trassat.

"We have seen a lot of quick, intermittent storms so that's accounting for a lot of our salt use. Budgeting for what we call our 5 year average, and not comparing year to year, but we are running ahead of that average at this point."

Despite spending more than expected, supplies of salt and other road treatment solutions remain at normal levels.

PennDOT will be getting more money to spend on long-term maintenance through the $2.3 billion transportation plan signed by Governor Corbett late last year.

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