VA snow removal costs soar $100M over budget - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

VA snow removal costs soar $100M over budget

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

As the snow piles up this winter, so does the cost of getting rid of all of it. VDOT confirms the agency will out-spend the state's snow-removal budget by more than $100 million, this year.

During each storm, VDOT crews work overtime, around the clock, to make roads passable. That means tax dollars pay for extra labor, salt, sand, and fuel for trucks. Old Man Winter certainly conjured up quite the bill this season. Four major snow storms pushed costs well over budget. VDOT's $157 million allotment for snow removal wasn't nearly enough to cover the cleanup.

"There have been many years where we haven't come close to spending half of the budget. So, this has been an incredibly active year for us," said Lindsay LeGrand, spokesperson for VDOT's Richmond district.

Transportation officials must now clear a new path, making up for the extra money poured out.

"We're continuing to rack up those costs, even with this week's storm," continued LeGrand.

However, VDOT officials maintain that road safety will stay a priority. Future cutbacks won't affect highway repairs, like repaving snow-battered roads. For example, VDOT says it will not divert funds from pothole repairs or repaving.

"Our priority is to keep the roads passable and safe. And we'll do that at what cost we need to," added LeGrand.

For the rest of the year, VDOT will cutback on other costs by considering limiting overtime, extending the timeline for projects, cutting down on contract workers, and delaying buying new equipment.

Regardless of how much snow may fall over Virginia, VDOT says it'll keep the engine running on road upkeep and safety.

"We'll continue doing these emergency operations, even if we have six more snow storms," said LeGrand.

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