Snowy winter eats up Washington’s road-clearing budget

State transportation officials are asking lawmakers to add $5 million to the snow-and-ice removal budget

Snow covers streets and trees as pedestrians make their way through a winter storm, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, in Seattle. Seattle finally got its dose of winter weather, with an overnight storm that left snow totals of an inch to more than a foot across western Washington, causing widespread school closures Monday. More than 75,000 Puget Sound Energy and Seattle City Light customers were without power. A winter storm warning remains in effect for the greater Puget Sound Metro area. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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.