Vail Valley: Winter depletes snow removal funds |

Vail Valley: Winter depletes snow removal funds

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” An especially snowy winter has been costing the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Thanks to a winter of record snowfall, the state reported that it has already gone through its snow removal funds for the year.

The agency has even used up emergency funds that are set aside in case it exceeds its snow removal budget. The agency has not had to ask for more money yet because it is still operating on the department’s general reserve funds, but the shortage could cause problems later in the year, spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said.

“Chances are that we’ll have trouble this spring with rock and mudslides, and that’s additional cost. It’s enough that it’s concerning for us,” she said.

Last year the state went $11.5 million over its snow removal budget also, but this year CDOT projects they will go almost $28 million over budget.

Usually any money left in the emergency funds are put back into other projects. The section that this area is in, which covers Interstate 70 from Kansas to Vail, incurred the highest maintenance costs in the state.

Most of that cost was in the High Country, Stegman said.

The state projects it will have plowed 7.4 million miles of road by the end of winter ” 300,000 miles more than last year and 2.2 million miles more than the year before.

As of early April, I-70 (between Colorado 470 and Vail) has been completely closed to traffic 70 times due to accidents or weather. Last winter, the freeway was closed 97 times.

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