RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Transportation had its hands full last year, but it's going to be more than ready for whatever happens this winter.
"Last year was an anomaly," said VDOT spokesperson Dawn Eischen. "We budgeted much less than we actually spent this year. We're hoping that what we have budgeted will be more than enough for what we need."
That anomaly caused VDOT to spend more than $150 million over its $94 million budget.
So this year, it budgeted $211 million, $14 million of which will go to the Richmond area. The money will cover labor, materials and equipment.
In addition to the larger budget, VDOT has also designated all its employees as "essential."
"Now it's all hands on deck for VDOT," she said. "Everybody is designated when we have a snow storm severe like what we did last year. You'll expect to see some folks from VDOT that maybe weren't used for last year but this year we're going to start using everybody."
VDOT has also created a new hotline: 1-800-FOR-ROAD. It allows you to contact a fully staffed call center 24/7 to report a maintenance request or if you notice a hazardous situation on the roadway.
Major roads are plowed first, and then the secondary and smaller roads. You shouldn't call in to request your road to be plowed since the snow plows are likely already working to get to your street.
And a reminder from VDOT: in order to be sure your street gets plowed, it's important to remove your vehicle from the side of the road so the trucks can get through.
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