Worker Shortages Force Changes In DOT Winter Maintenance Routines

AASHTO Journal reports, “Even as winter weather begins to drop snow and ice on roadways across the country, state departments of transportation continue adjusting their operations to manage what has become an ongoing shortage of snowplow operators.” In several Midwest states and Wyoming, officials are deploying maintenance crews according to conditions, which means shifting workers between districts. They are also advising motorists to plan trips carefully and anticipate potential unsafe conditions, since they will wait longer for many routes, especially secondary roadways, to be cleared for travel. Wyoming DOT reports that because snowplow and other vehicle parts are in short supply, “increasingly backordered and delayed,” keeping equipment on the roads may be another challenge it faces this winter.