2014 winter is historically expensive for road crews

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INDIANAPOLIS – As central Indiana braces for more snow, road clearing departments are bracing for more expenditures.

Hoosiers don’t need statistics to know this has been one mean winter, but when you do break down the costs of cleaning up, the numbers paint an even nastier picture.

In the past five years, INDOT has spent on average about $33.8 million a season on snow and ice cleanup. This year, it has nearly reached that amount and the season isn’t over yet.

“This year so far through mid-January we’ve invested about $31 million dollars already,” said Nathan Riggs, a spokesman for the department. “It’s definitely taking its toll.”

If that sounds like a lot, consider how much Indy Snow Force has already spent. With 72,000 hours of manpower and 42,000 tons of salt under its belt, the Department of Public Works has already exceeded its average.

“On average, our snowfalls in a yearly total cost about $5.5 million dollars. So far this season we’ve already spent about $8 million dollars,” said DPW spokeswoman Lesley Gordon.

In an effort to keep those costs from affecting the residents of Indianapolis, DPW has submitted a request for federal aid. It’s still waiting to hear back.

For INDOT, spending more now means INDOT will simply have to spend less later this year.

“Where we do have increased expenditures for our winter operations, we will have to make some adjustments to the summertime maintenance operations,” said Riggs.