DENVER (KDVR) — Plows from the Colorado Department of Transportation have been out in force this winter. Colorado saw more snow in December and January than average.
“Already we are seeing totals that rival or outpace some of our busiest years compared to averages, we are talking 200% and 250% more snow than we normally see by now,” Matt Inzeo with CDOT said.
Inzeo compared the miles plowed from last season to this season going through the end of January.
For the 2021-2022 season, there were about 2.5 million miles plowed in this time period. For the 2022-2023 season, there have been about 3.6 million miles plowed. That’s a 44% increase and the costs are adding up.
“As of the end of January, we are looking at about $68 million spent clearing snow. Typically, around that time we’d be more like $45 million,” Inzeo said.
Taking a look at January alone, costs were up almost $8 million this year compared to last.
“It certainly costs money when we have to spend more time clearing snow. Whether that’s the people that are out there 24/7 or the products that we have to use from the diesel to fill the snowplows, to some of the deicers we put on the road,” Inzeo said.
The state has contingency funds set aside for busy years, and Inzeo says CDOT is prepared to handle whatever Mother Nature sends our way.