Winter weather expected to push VDOT $100M over snow budget

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by Brian Farrell, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 12:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 6 at 12:41 AM

RICHMOND -- Storms that pounded away at the Commonwealth of Virginia including Hampton Roads this winter put a major squeeze on the Virginia Department of Transportation when it came to its snow budget.

VDOT said Wednesday it expected to exceed that $157 million budget by more than $100 million.

"I mean, at one time, we had over 13,000 trucks and plows on the road," Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne told 13News Now, referring to one of the several storms to hit Virginia statewide.

Layne explained that VDOT will adjust its overall maintenance budget to compensate for the overrun. It could extend completion dates of select paving projects, limit the use of service contracts (excluding snow removal and pothole patching) and have VDOT staff perform needed services, limit overtime (excluding snow operations/safety related activities), and hold off on purchasing new equipment.

"It does not at all impact our construction budgets, so all those major projects in Hampton Roads -- 264, the paving that's in the construction budget -- that reconstruction will not be impacted," Layne explained. "Our motorists should not see and will not see any degradation of the service on the roads, and we'll just be smart how we use this remaining year's budget."

The snow budget is part of VDOT’s overall $1.8 billion maintenance budget which covers expenses including pothole repairs and repaving.

Layne told 13News Now that snow removal, pothole repair, and other maintenance costs will not affect VDOT’s $1.4 billion construction budget.

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