MNDOT’s rising costs of snow removal for 6th snowiest winter

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MNDOT’s snowplow drivers had a significant achievement this winter, with plowing more than one million miles of snow. However, with the 6th snowiest winter on record for the last 150 years, there have also been expensive costs.

Margie Nelson, the Public Affairs Coordinator in MNDOT’s District 1, talked more about their drivers. “In all of last year we didn’t cross the 1 million mile mark and we still have about a month to go. We have seen over 50 different snow events this winter. So that’s pretty big numbers are our plows have gone out over 50 times for snowstorms and we’ve been on the road for quite a bit.” Nelson said.

MNDOT’s main budgeting concern has been paying their drivers to remove the excessive snowfall. “So our biggest concern is our staff time. We’ve been up 32% over the normal for overtime hours. That adds up quite a bit. Our crews have been working 12-hour shifts and that that overtime accumulates quickly. So 32% over the recent season averages is impressive.” Nelson said.

However, MNDOT’s salting of the roads have also been hurting financially too. “We’ve used over 31,000 tons of salt and that’s above our five year season full season average of 29,000 tons. Everything costs more. It’s always hard to say what winter is going to look like, but we’ll be prepared. We have the staff, we have the salt, and we are ready to go.” Nelson said.

Although MNDOT’s drivers have been busy throughout the state, Nelson said they are spread thin. “They’re clearing the snow for the public. And then they have to go home and do the same thing for their homes like everyone else’s, too. So it gets to be wearing after a while. Give them a real slow down, put down the distractions. Every storm is a little bit different and who gets more? But it’s getting spread around quite a bit. Our our staff are working hard.” Nelson said.

For more information about MNDOT’s snowplows you can look more here. For more information about Duluth’s snow removal you can read more here.