YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s road-clearing budget is taking a beating thanks to an especially cold and snowy winter.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that state transportation officials are asking lawmakers to add $5 million to the snow-and-ice removal budget to cover costs incurred this winter.
WSDOT spokeswoman Barbara LaBoe says the budget is based on historical data, but this winter has strained the department’s stores of road salt and de-icing solution.
The department had $85 million for snow removal in the 2015-2017 state budget.
By December 2015, the department was running about $1.2 million under projected costs for snow removal.
But this past December, the budget went $1.4 million into the red.
January and February are expected to cost an additional $3.6 million, and more snow is in the forecast.