Spring doesn’t officially begin for a few more weeks but this has already been one of the most difficult and expensive winters in recent memory for the state Department of Transportation.

“We’ve had 34 different events that we’ve responded to including two major storms, and so this winter we’ve spent approximately $120.9 million,” said Steve Schapiro, the deputy manager of communications for the DOT.

The DOT has spent $120.9 million this winter responding to 34 weather events, including two major storms. Last year, the DOT spent $41.5 million on 26 occasions — mostly freezing rain and sleet but none of the snowfall of this year.

Two years ago, the DOT spent $95.1 million clearing snow, sleet and ice off of Jersey roadways when there were 44 winter weather events.

During the winter of 2013-14, when it seemed like we had a snowstorm every couple of days, the DOT spent close to $130 million clearing the roads, the most in recent history.

DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro Schapiro said there is really no such thing as a “typical” winter for the DOT because each storm varies in intensity, length, and where it’s located.

The DOT this winter has used 216,000 tons of salt mixed with 350,000 gallons of liquid calcium, as well as 106,000 gallons of brine, which is used to pre-treat roadways. Schapiro said not much brine has been used this year because storms were too frequent.

He explained because we went through a stretch where storms were coming in every few days, there was residual salt on the roads from the prior storm and it did not need to be re-applied.

Schapiro said the state has plenty of salt in storage.

He added the primary responsibility of the DOT during the winter is to keep interstate and state highways clear of snow and ice, and those efforts will continue, no matter what the cost, until the winter season is over.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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