VDOT announces snow budget for Staunton District’s 2020-21 winter season

VDOT announces snow budget for Staunton District’s 2020-21 winter season
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — With winter right around the corner, the Virginia Department of Transportation is breaking down its snow budget for this season.

VDOT’s Staunton District has seen a slight increase in the amount of money for snow removal compared to last year. The district has a $15 million snow budget this year, versus $14 million last year. The numbers are not affected by COVID-19.

Ken Slack, spokesperson for VDOT Staunton, said the budget is determined by taking the average expenses of the last three years of snow removal. With a quiet winter last year, they did not have to purchase as many supplies to treat roads.

If VDOT does not spend all of the money in the budget, it gets used for other purposes.

“If we do have some that we didn’t need for a particular winter, that does mean we might have a little bit more money in our stock for patching potholes, smoothing gravel roads, basically some of the materials that we use in the spring and the rest of the year,” said Slack.

Different types of winter snow scenarios can make things complicated for VDOT. For example, if we are dealing with an event where rain changes over to snow, roads would be very hard to pretreat versus an all-snow event.

“If we put down the pretreating which is basically saltwater or brine solution, if we do that when it’s rain coming down it just washes right off and it’s a wasted effort and a waste of resources,” Slack said.

VDOT said it can plow roads more efficiently with less traffic.

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