WINTER MAINTENANCE: Va. struggles with snow-removal costs

State DOT reports it may take $200 million more, which will cut into highway budget

Maintenance News Richmond Times-Dispatch March 20, 2014
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A punishing winter has melted away road-maintenance budgets across the country, and Virginia could be one of the hardest hit.


Snow-removal costs are coming in well over what was originally laid out by the Virginia DOT. Transportation officials say it could cost $200 million more than the $157 million that was originally budgeted. The overrun could slice away one-fifth of the highway maintenance budget for the year.


“We’re doing some serious belt-tightening,” said VDOT chief Garrett Moore.


Moore said the potholes cannot be ignored, either, and in order to make up the difference less stone will be thrown on gravel roads and less maintenance will be done in terms of mowing. VDOT will most likely cut $50 million from those areas.


“We’re scrubbing the non-construction and non-maintenance budgets to fine monies we can take and come back to the board with,” said VDOT’s chief financial officer John Larson.


Some financial shifting also will take place. Officials said $15 million to $50 million worth of road maintenance work could be pushed into the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

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