Rough winter travel ahead? CDOT shortage of 191 workers could cause delay in clearing roads

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — This winter, drivers could face tougher driving conditions due to an ongoing commercial driver shortage.

The Colorado Department of Transportation currently has 191 open “transportation maintenance specialist” positions, compared to 77 vacancies last October, according to the agency.

The position includes plowing roads in the winter, filling potholes, fixing guardrails and other road maintenance work, officials say.

“We have shortages with our labor force throughout the state,” CDOT Communications Manager Bob Wilson said.  “It’s a situation that a lot of industries are going through, trying to hire drivers.”

CDOT stresses I-70 in the mountains and other heavily trafficked areas will take priority when it snows, however some main arteries in the metro, such as Kipling and Federal Blvd., could take longer for crews to clean up.

Highway 134 that goes over Gore Path is another stretch that will likely take longer to get according to CDOT.

“It’s difficult.  It’s a challenge,” Wilson said. “We try to give incentives to bring people on, but it’s challenging when you’re competing with other industries that also need drivers.”

CDOT has been putting on career fairs since September. The last event for this year is scheduled for Saturday in Fairplay.

CDOT offers nearly $17,000 in benefits, with a starting salary of about $40,000 annually including a 10% raise in the first year.

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