January snowstorm cost NJ DOT $25 million
January's snowstorm that dropped more than two feet of snow in parts of New Jersey was a costly one.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) said about $25 million dollars was spent to treat, clear and maintain the state's highways and roadways.
And while the snow mostly stopped falling after 24 hours, the response stretched over several days.
“We continued to work to clear the streets for several days afterwards,” said Steve Shapiro, director of communications for the DOT.
Not surprisingly, more road salt was used than is normally the case. Shapiro said DOT crews usually use about 20,000 tons of salt in a typical snowstorm. For January's snowstorm, over 68,000 tons of salt was used.
Shapiro described a typical storm as one that drops about six inches of snow.
“This was a storm that was a statewide event, and pretty much the entire state got anywhere from 15 to 30 inches,” Shapiro said.
Prior to the storm, Shapiro said DOT road crews spread a salt water brine solution on the roads to help prevent snow and ice from sticking.
“For this storm we used approximately 31,000 gallons of brine,” Shapiro said.
This snowstorm was so costly it wiped out the DOT's entire snow budget, which was a little over $10 million.
Shapiro said additional funds are available from the state Treasury Department.
“There’s never any question of whether we’re going to have enough money or not. Our first priority is safety and getting the job done, making sure those roads are clear and down to the blacktop,” Shapiro said. “We are reimbursed by the Treasury afterwards, so we never have to worry about that.”