With severe weather in the forecast, it appears winter may be fading. But the damage it left behind, is hitting government pocketbooks.
The Kansas Department of Transportation reports the winter of 2014 was the most costly in six years. The agency spent an estimated $22 million on supplies, labor and equipment to clear highways. The state spent about $1.7 more in 2008.
Mike King, Transportation Secretary, said winter maintenance takes a substantial amount of effort and money. A string of winter storms, along with frigid temperatures, combined to make this an expensive season.
"The cost to the state would be much greater if the crews didn't maintain the system as well as they did," King said.
Annual winter expenses
2008 $23.7 million
2009 $11.3 million
2010 $20 million
2011 $17.9 million
2012 $6.9 million
2013 $18.6 million
2014 $22 million (estimated)
"I want to thank our crews for their dedication and hard work to keep Kansas roads open in some very difficult conditions."
Crews worked 550,000 hours, used 591 dump trucks and treated/plowed some 2.7 million lane miles during the winter season.
The numbers for 2014 will not be finalized until the end of the fiscal year on June 30.