MoDOT gears up for winter despite losing 1,200 employees

Oct 25, 2012

With October coming to an end, road crews begin prepping for the coming winter season. If Missouri experiences a milder winter however, costs for road crews could decrease substantially.

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced it will conduct a state wide test run in preparation for the winter season. MoDOT spokesperson Bob Brendel said part of the simulation is to prepare the new snow plow crews for proper snow clearing protocol.

“We’ve gone through a massive reorganization of the agency over the last year in a half. We have 1,200 fewer employees, we’re operating from 130 fewer maintenance facilities. So, our approach to winter operations is a little different.”

Brendel said the cuts were due to a decrease in MoDOT’s revenue. MoDOT’s commission evaluated the lack of funding and adopted a program called the Bolder Five-Year Direction. Brendel said this program will result in MoDOT saving $517 million over the next five years.

Additionally, Brendel said MoDOT’s hoping for a milder winter which would cut costs like salt usage and fuel for vehicles.

“We’re always looking to put every dollar we can on to Missouri’s roadways," Brendel said. "So, if we save it in the winter, we’re going to resurface that many more miles come spring and summer. We’re going to put it back into as many projects as we can.”

The state wide test run will start at approximately 9 a.m. on Oct. 31 and is expected to last about six hours.