DOT adds up record winter as snow disappears

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says snow plowing and removal costs for the past winter have set a new record.

Through March 15, the DOT has spent $71.8 million to keep state roads open and drivable, DOT state maintenance engineer Steve Lund said.That tops the 2008-09 mark of $67.4 million.

Lund said the total could be close to $80 million before the last flake falls. He said the DOT has had to do more work on snow since mid-March, and another storm is forecast for Sunday and Monday in central and northern Minnesota.

“It’s been a memorable winter,” he said.

Each of the DOT’s eight districts are planning their summer maintenance programs now. However, the above-average snow plowing costs could reduce what they can do this summer.

Lund said all major road construction projects will go ahead as planned. But each district has small pavement touch-up jobs they like to do in the summer. Some of that maintenance likely will be scaled back because of the heavy snows.

The DOT will also review its winter time work once warmer weather arrives.

Lund said officials like to look back to see what worked and what didn’t work. That helps them get ready for the next round of cold weather.

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