UDOT exceeds plow budget: How will they finish out this winter?

Mar 2, 2023, 12:17 PM

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News...

FILE: UDOT crews plow the snow in Salt Lake County. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY— It’s been one of the snowiest winters in recent memory in the Beehive State, and it shows in the annual plow budget from UDOT.

Utah Department of Transportation Public Relations Director John Gleason told KSL NewsRadio the department budgeted $24 million for this winter. Now, two days into March, they’ve already spent $26 million.

Related: Storm approaching Utah will add significantly to strong Utah snowpack

This is the first time in four years they’ve exceeded their annual snow removal budget.

According to KSL Meteorologist Matt Johnson, March is the snowiest month for the state’s mountains.  And there are highways UDOT is responsible for in some higher elevations. And the possibility for snow is still there in the valleys.

So, how will they handle the rest of this winter financially?

Gleason said their snow removal budget comes from their general maintenance fund. That’s the same fund used for many construction projects.

Related: How much snow is coming this week?

So, they have plenty of money to move around in cases, like this year, they go over budget.

“We have a lot of projects that are important, but they can be pushed back because they’re not involving safety,” Gleason said.

Snow removal, plowing the roads, that’s always going to come first.”

Gleason said they can push back some non-essential work to the summer since their fiscal year ends in July.

The key takeaway: no matter how much it snows, they will be out there plowing. Whatever the cost.

“Rest assured as long as it’s snowing, we’ll be out there plowing,” Gleason said. “This is one of the most important things that we do.”


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UDOT exceeds plow budget: How will they finish out this winter?