Amarillo, Texas - It's just the first snow of the season, and there are already some budgeting concerns.
Bottom line is TxDOT says they don't have a choice... They have to take care of the snowy roads... Keeping people safe is their number one priority, no matter how much it costs and no matter how many other things have to go on the back burner.
Getting rid of the snow on the roads is no easy task. TxDOT's Paul Braun says "We have about 153 crews out." It isn't a cheap task either. "We usually spend about $25 million a year on snow removal and other maintenance activities."
There are worries that if we have a repeat of last year's winter weather, most of that 25-million will go towards clearing off the snow. "It's concerning. It's always concerning." Concerning because that means other things might have to be put on hold.
Braun adds, "Roadways may not get the maintenance they need when they need it. We're going to have to take money away from roads where we need to fix potholes." When it comes to clearing off the roads, there is a method to the madness. First come main highways, then busy FM roads then small back roads.
"We have to put most of efforts where the roadways connect city to city."