March 15, 2014
Richard Zambrotta is the Transportation Operations Manager for the Verona Area Headquarters for VDOT, he says the cost of preparing for a storm starts at $3,000.
"Even though we had a little snow," said Zambrotta, "we had trucks still riding I-81 spot checking it, checking the bridges making sure they didn't freeze. We didn't use any material, but we still had to pay for the fuel, trucks and everything else."
If snow is expected, Zambrotta staffs a 12-hour shift with eight trucks, eight drivers and a supervisor. He says in the past his office has been affected by state budget cuts, but in 2002 they were lucky.
VDOT has a snow budget of $48 million for the whole state. VDOT'S Verona office budget is $1.6 million.
It cost them between $10,000 to $15,000 per shift if snow actually falls, but if snow doesn't fall VDOT still has to pay it's workers and that can get expensive. But even if it is a false alarm officials say your safety is what's most important.