The Wyoming Department of Transportation Plans to Meet Snowplow Priority Plan Despite Challenges

Nov. 2, 2022
Staffing and supply chain issues are posing a serious challenge to the agency

Winter is coming, and that means that many states and cities are getting ready for snow to start. That's no different for the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) who wants to remind drivers os its Snowplow Priority Plan.

 The Snowplow Priority Plan prioritizes plowing efforts on busiest highways, like interstates, before rural routes. The plan helps to strategize plowing to maximize community connectivity while maintaining cost-effective operations. Road shoulders may not get plowed immediately and crews may have to get to clean-up work the next day.

WYDOT has experienced challenges with recruiting and maintaining workers, especially snowplow operators, mechanics, and troopers. Luckily, winters recently have been mild and WYDOT was able to meet or exceed the Snowplow Priority Plan by moving crews to where the storm impacts were heaviest.

“WYDOT is dedicated to moving snow and keeping the state connected despite Wyoming’s challenging winters,” said WYDOT Director Luke Reiner. “The agency is certainly not immune to nationwide labor and supply chain challenges, but we will do everything in our power to continue to meet our mission despite these obstacles.”

Moving crews based in areas less impacted by a storm to the routes seeing the heaviest weather conditions will continue to be WYDOT’s strategy for the upcoming winter. Additionally, WYDOT has given its qualified employees the opportunity to volunteer to help plow snow during severe storms. However, WYDOT staffing levels are at the point now where widespread winter storms may impact plowing efforts to levels below what is indicated on the Snowplow Priority Plan.

Rock Springs, Hulett, Shirley Rim, LaBarge, Reno Junction, Patrick Draw, and Muddy Gap are seeing serious staffing shortages. 

The Wyoming Highway Patrol is also experiencing staffing shortages, which will likely also contribute to longer response times for nonemergency calls. In some cases, the Wyoming Highway Patrol may call for crash information rather than driving to the scene.

Parts for snowplows and trooper vehicles are also becoming increasingly backordered and delayed, which can prolong the time vehicles are in the shop rather than on the roads.

WYDOT urges motorists to slow down and give snowplows and troopers ample room to work this winter.

WYDOT implores people to check out their hiring website which you can see here.


Source: WYDOT

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