Snow photos from DFW winter storms

Winter Weather Busts Roads, TxDOT's Budget

By Randy McIlwain
|  Friday, Feb 19, 2010  |  Updated 11:18 PM CDT
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TxDOT says the record-breaking winter is wrecking havoc on its budget.

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If you’ve been wondering if you're driving on North Texas roads or a patch of the moon, you’re not alone.

And this year's winter weather not just making holes in the roads -- it’s leaving a hole in the Texas Department of Transportation's budget.

“It's going to strain the budget,” said TxDOT spokeswoman Cynthia Northrop-White.

The agency's Dallas district consists of seven counties. Right now, the running cost of filling potholes alone is a tab with no end in sight.

"It's upwards of 100,000 just for what we've done right now, and we still have more to go,” Northrop-White said.

There are hundreds of more potholes. Some roads need to be completely resurfaced because, in addition to this season's mixture of snow and ice, rainfall totals are up, too.

TxDOT only budgets for three winter weather events each year, but has already seen seven since early December.

And the costs, which include every aspect of the agency's response to icy conditions, add up.

“It's looking at the sand costs, it's looking at the salt, it's looking at the de-icer, which is fairly expensive material we use that on the bridges and the overpasses, you're looking at equipment, gas and overtime,” said Northrop-White. “It could impact our budget up to a million dollars just for one season, which is definitely more than what we budget for.”

More winter weather is expected early next week. At about the time it’s hitting, TxDOT's Dallas District should be learning exactly how much this season has cost so far.

Northrop-White said the financial challenges arising from this historic, record-breaking winter could last for a while.

“We've got less revenue coming in, we've got more population in the area, we've got these extreme temperatures -- I mean, these are all challenges that we're dealing with when we're talking about transportation dollars," she said.

 

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